Yesterday, in a call to the Office of the Secretary of Defense General James Mattis, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey requested the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated by the Arizona Air National Guard to aid first responders as they fight to contain the Sawmill fire in southern Arizona.
The governor was joined in the request by Major General Michael McGuire, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) director. Ducey says the UAV is a “critical asset [that] will provide real-time hazard information to first responders on the ground – allowing them to most effectively deploy their resources in response.”
According to a press release from Ducey’s office, the Sawmill fire has consumed more than 40,000 acres in southern Arizona. With critical weather conditions peaking going into the weekend, the fire response team was upgraded to a Type I Incident Management Team.
“I commend the hundreds of brave first responders working around the clock to fight wildfires in Arizona,” the governor says. “These men and women have been operating in incredibly tough conditions and putting their lives on the line for the sake of their fellow citizens. We are praying for their safety, as well as all of those affected by these fires.”
He adds, “We will continue to coordinate closely with state officials and our congressional delegation to ensure our firefighters every resource available to protect Arizonans.”
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 27, 2017