Minnesota National Guard assist in firefighting - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minnesota National Guard assist in firefighting

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- 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.

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.

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