Minnesota National Guard sends Black Hawk, 10 soldiers to back Washington state wildfire fight

This photo shows a wildfire near Stevenson, Wash. (Associated Press photo from KATU-TV)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) — A Minnesota National Guard UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter and 10 soldiers will head Saturday to Washington state to support the wildfire response there.
Gov. Tim Walz authorized the deployment after a request from Washington officials through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
“Wildfires continue to put our fellow Americans’ lives at risk, and when disaster hits, Minnesotans have always stepped up to help out their neighbors,” Walz said.
“We continue to battle our own wildfires here in Minnesota, but we have the resources needed to manage those, and we are in a strong position to step up and help our fellow states,” he said.
The Guard’s St. Cloud-based C Company, 2-211 General Support Aviation Battalion, will send the helicopter with hoist plus 10 soldiers to Washington to provide medivac support to ground firefighting efforts and aerial fire suppression.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources requested the support for a minimum of two weeks. The support could be extended if current fire conditions continue.
Last week, Walz and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss the ongoing drought, extreme heat and wildfires that continue to devastate states. Walz asked for federal action to recognize the extreme drought conditions and increase Minnesota livestock producers’ access to lands for forage.