OK National Guard Choppers To Help Squash Future Wildfires - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

OK National Guard Choppers To Help Squash Future Wildfires

Posted: Updated:
The new UH-72 Lakotas are based at a National Guard facility next to Will Rogers World Airport. The new UH-72 Lakotas are based at a National Guard facility next to Will Rogers World Airport.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma National Guard is showing off some new high-powered machines.

Pilots are ready to fly four helicopters that will be used for many things including fighting wildfires. The new UH-72 Lakotas are based at a National Guard facility next to Will Rogers World Airport. Officials say the light-weight birds are ready to go when needed.

"I love the helicopters because they're great to fly – brand new," Capt. Brandon Files said.

Even though the federal government purchased the choppers at a cost of about $5 million each, the Lakotas will stay under state control in Oklahoma to help with disaster relief and civil support.

National guard members say the choppers can only tug a few hundred gallons of water. However, the infrared technology and camera system is what can give ground crews the upper hand when fighting fires. The onboard equipment can locate hotspots and the core of large wildfires.

"We can see how extensive the fire has spread, and if we need to call in reinforcements, maybe a Blackhawk or a Chinook, they can handle much bigger fires," said Files.

Pilots say the Lakotas cost less to fly and will be more effective with technology and communication -- saving taxpayer dollars. When National Guard members are on base, they can be in the air within 10 to 15 minutes. During high-risk parts of the fire season, it's not uncommon to have crews on alert constantly for more than two weeks at a time, according to state officials.

  • NewsMore>>

  • At Least 235 Killed In Egypt Mosque Attack

    At Least 235 Killed In Egypt Mosque Attack

    Militants bombed a Sufi mosque and fired on worshippers in the volatile Sinai Peninsula during Friday prayers, killing at least 184 people in what appeared to be the latest attack by the area's ISIS affiliate, Egyptian state news agency MENA reports.

    More >>

    Militants bombed a Sufi mosque and fired on worshippers in the volatile Sinai Peninsula during Friday prayers, killing at least 184 people in what appeared to be the latest attack by the area's ISIS affiliate, Egyptian state news agency MENA reports.

    More >>
  • Busy London Station Reopens After 'Shots Fired' Scare

    Busy London Station Reopens After 'Shots Fired' Scare

    The scene outside the London Palladium in the west end of London after Oxford Circus station was evacuated Friday Nov. 24, 2017. British police said Friday they were responding to reports of an incident at Oxford Circus subway station. AP PHOTOThe scene outside the London Palladium in the west end of London after Oxford Circus station was evacuated Friday Nov. 24, 2017. British police said Friday they were responding to reports of an incident at Oxford Circus subway station. AP PHOTO

    Shoppers scattered in panic and police flooded one of London's busiest areas Friday after multiple reports of shots being fired at Oxford Circus subway station.

    More >>

    Shoppers scattered in panic and police flooded one of London's busiest areas Friday after multiple reports of shots being fired at Oxford Circus subway station.

    More >>

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.