Oklahoma National Guard pilots try out new firefighting equipment

Wednesday, July 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Lexington-AP) -- National Guard helicopter pilots have tried out new firefighting equipment bought with federal funds from the 2000 ice storm.

Recovery money went toward three buckets capable of dipping more than 13-hundred gallons each of water from lakes and ponds. Oklahoma also bought four smaller buckets that each carry 660 gallons.

Pilots used them for the first time today in a firefighting exercise. The Guard also tried out new radios that'll help pilots tell the difference between natural fires and those set by firefighters.

Agriculture Department spokesman Jack Carson says it was an easy choice to use the ice storm money for fire protection. Carson says there's still a lot of dead timber on the ground from the storm that could feed a wildfire.