ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton has directed a team of Minnesota National Guard members to northwestern Minnesota to help with firefighting efforts.
A crew of 13 soldiers and two Blackhawk helicopters arrive at the Thief River Falls Airport Tuesday to help suppress a fire that's consumed about 700 acres near Fourtown. It is one of eight seperate wildfires that are currently burning in the tinder-dry region.
The Army Aviation Support Facilities from St. Paul is providing aircraft and a fuel truck. Army Capt. Jed Gadient says the soldiers train for proficiency in water bucket operations approximately twice a month from spring to late fall in order to be ready for missions such as this.
The National Weather Service issued a fire watch advisory for the western two-thirds of Minnesota for Tuesday due to extremely dry conditions, low humidity and brisk wind.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )