A first-hand look at how Army National Guard helicopter crews fight massive forest fires

With the increasing number of forest fires on the West Coast, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has had to ask the California National Guard for help containing the blazes.

Soldiers of the National Guard have been called in to assist both on the ground and in the air. Chinook crews have been flying missions to drop water from nearby lakes onto the wildfires. Here’s what they see while completing their mission.

Helicopter crews pick up water from lakes in Bambi Buckets, large water carriers with remote-operated valves.

California-national-guard-aviation-forest-fires-army-service-helicopter-bambis-bucket-chinook-CH-47-CH47-crew-chief

Video Still: California National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza

Once they have the water, the crews target areas where the fire is attempting to spread.

California-national-guard-aviation-forest-fires-army-service-helicopter-bambis-bucket

Video Still: California National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza

The crews map out nearby water features and plan their flights so they can refill and return to the fire as quickly as possible.

California-national-guard-aviation-forest-fires-army-service-helicopter-bambis-bucket-chinook-CH-47-CH47

Video Still: California National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza

The pilots’ navigation equipment was designed for war and provides more than enough information for them to navigate on the objective.

California-national-guard-aviation-forest-fires-army-service-helicopter-pilot

Video Still: California National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza

The crew assist the pilots in targeting the fire and aiming the water.

California-national-guard-aviation-forest-fires-army-service-helicopter-crew-chief

Video Still: California National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza

These images and the below video were taken from the California Rocky Fire which burned for 16 days and consumed over 69,000 acres. 96 buildings were destroyed and 8 damaged before it was contained.

California-national-guard-aviation-forest-fires-army-service-helicopter

Video Still: California National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza

Check out the video below to see the California National Guard crews go through their mission.

[jwplatform NRGcw6XZ]

NOW: This remarkable video shows what it’s like for Medevac crews to rescue troops under fire >

TOP ARTICLES
This is the latest version of the M9 service pistol

The M9A3 offers a bigger magazine, a user-friendly grip, and a host of improvements based on lessons learned from over three decades of service.

This is what the DoD has planned for a zombie apocalypse

It does touch on many of the pop culture elements of zombie lore, but it breaks things down to become applicable to most situations that would similar to an actual outbreak.

Some dirtbags messed with an Iwo Jima memorial — and Marines caught 'em on film

Officials say an Iwo Jima memorial in Fall River was doused with the contents of a fire extinguisher last weekend. Police are investigating

Vets are going to get a new ID card, and they'll be ready for use next month

The new identification card will provide employers looking to hire veterans with an easier way to verify an employee's military service.

This is the story behind the rise and fall of the Islamic State group

The Islamic State group, responsible for some of the worst atrocities perpetrated against civilians in recent history, appears on the verge of collapse.

Now the Iraqi army is going after the Kurdish forces who helped beat ISIS

Iraqi federal and Kurdish forces exchanged fire on Oct. 20, capping a dramatic week that saw the Kurds hand over territory across Northern Iraq.

This Kurdish female militia refuses to stop its hunt for ISIS terrorists

A Kurdish female militia, after helping free the city of Raqqa, said it will continue the fight to liberate women from the extremists’ brutal rule.

The US just sent nearly 1M bombs and missiles to Guam — here's why

Hint: There's this guy a few thousand miles away who's threatening to lob a nuke in their direction.

This is what the 400 US troops in Somalia are actually up to

The US has quadrupled its military presence in Somalia after Al-Shabab killed nearly 300 civilians in two truck bombings. Half of them are special ops troops.

The war between the US Army and Magpul is heating up over ice

Magpul officials are calling foul on the Army's claim that its rifle magazines don't work in the cold — and they say they can prove it.