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NC National Guard Helps Fight Arizona Wildfires

North Carolina National Guard troops are helping battle the huge wildfires in Arizona. About three dozen guard members are flying airborne tankers dropping chemical fire retardant on the blazes. Lieutenant Colonel Rose Dunlap is with the 145th Airlift Wing based in Charlotte. She says logistics for fighting such large fires are complex.

Lt. Rose Dunlap: "The U.S. Forest Service takes the lead, there's a lead plane that's talking back to the base unit and we're following that lead plane that is on radio with the U.S. Forest Service and knowing exactly where they want the retardant, they have safety people there, they have weather people there."
Dunlap says it takes less than 30 seconds for the tankers to drop about 3,000 gallons of retardant. She says North Carolina guard members have not been called in to work on fires along the North Carolina coast.

Eric Hodge hosts WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and files reports for the North Carolina news segments of the broadcast. He started at the station in 2004 doing fill-in work on weekends and All Things Considered.
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