1970 Huey helicopter to be refurbished to fight Wash. wildfires
While the helicopter never actually flew in the Vietnam war, mechanics say it will be ready to fight wildfires next summer
By FireRescue1 Staff
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Department of Natural Resources is updating a 1970 Huey helicopter with $1.1 million state funds to fight wildfires in the state.
According to K5 News, the U.S. Army decommissioned several helicopters and donated them to the state at no cost. DNR has nine helicopters they've previously restored and added to the firefighting fleet.
The latest helicopter has been with the state since 2011. While the helicopter never actually flew in the Vietnam War, mechanics say it will be ready to fight wildfires next summer.
DNR Land Commissioner Hilary Franz said it's much cheaper to restore an outdated helicopter versus buying a new one that would cost $13 million.
"'They're able to get to that fire easier contained and also in some very challenging topography, where we can't really get our firefighters in safely," said Franz.