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Helicopter Exercise Friday at Angostura Lake

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday,  May 13, 2021

CONTACT: Jeni Lawver, Wildland Fire, 605-381-7232


Helicopter Exercise Friday at Angostura Lake


RAPID CITY, S.D.— The South Dakota Wildland Fire Division will administer an annual fire aviation certification for the South Dakota National Guard Aviation Unit at Angostura Reservoir and Recreation Area on Friday, May 14. 


This yearly certification is required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Interior. The certification allows for South Dakota National Guard Blackhawk helicopters to respond to wildland fires on federal lands. 


“This is a great way to practice what is an important partnership,” said Craig Price, Cabinet Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. “National Guard helicopters can be another important resource in fighting different kinds of fires.”


Crews are tested on fire aviation procedures which include dipping water from a water source with buckets that are attached to helicopters. This exercise also provides live training for ground personnel.


Recreational users in the Angostura area are urged to use caution on the west side of the reservoir in the Shepp’s Canyon area. Helicopters will be dipping water buckets out of the reservoir near the dam and the Cheyenne River inlet.


Flight operations begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. The public is advised to stay clear of this area during that time.


Those who use the Hot Springs Airport are advised to be alert for helicopters utilizing the airport facilities as a helibase. 


The Wildland Fire Division is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.