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DPS Air Rescue Proves Essential During Fire Season

New Cooperative Agreement Allows DPS to Aide in Fire Fighting Support State Wide

Thursday, June 20, 2013 -

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In an effort to better combat wild fires, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the State Forestry Division entered into a new agreement that dedicates a helicopter and its crew in support of the Forestry Divisions firefighting efforts throughout the state during fire seasons.

DPS Air Rescue and its crews are supporting the Forestry Division by supplying water drops on fires, emergency extractions of injured firefighters, aerial observations of the fires and other supporting roles.

The most recent events that involved DPS Air Rescue were the Doce fire near Prescott and the Thomas fire near Tucson. On Tuesday June 18, DPS Air Rescue was called to search for hikers that were thought to possibly be in the path of the fire. DPS Air Rescue out of Flagstaff searched several trails but did not locate any hikers. After surveying the fire, they returned to Flagstaff and remained on call for any future incidents. On Wednesday June 19, two DPS Air Rescue helicopters were called upon to help deliver water onto a new wildfire in Southern Arizona. Air Rescue dropped more than 20 water deployments and continued their support through the night.

This new cooperative agreement between DPS and the State Forestry Division has proven successful thus far and we are hopeful this makes a dramatic impact aiding the firefighters on the ground, citizens affected by these fires and the forests scorched by these major fires.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.