ON YOUR SIDE: Forest Service to call on closest resource for help in fires

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 6/22/2014 10:04 am
RENO, Nev (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - It's a story that had us asking questions. Even as the Hunter Falls fire burned out of control last month, Washoe County's Raven helicopter was not called in to help fight the fire.  And even when it was offered up, we found by checking the dispatch records that the Forest Service declined the offer for help.

Now, in the wake of our On Your Side report, changes are in place.  The Forest Service and Washoe County Sheriff's officials met last week to discuss communication issues.

The Forest Service told News 4 a miscommunication may have been to blame after originally telling us Raven was not available that day because it was out at Pyramid Lake on a rafter rescue.  The sheriff's office says Raven was available all day the day of the fire.

Here's what came out of that meeting:  Both sides have agreed that from now on the decision on whether to use the Raven helicopter will be based on what the closest resource is and what the appropriate resource is to meet incident objectives. The Hunter Falls fire ended up burning more than 700 acres in the hills just West of Reno.  Sheriff's officials say the Raven helicopter is a valuable firefighting tool and can make a big difference, especially during the initial attack phase of a fire.

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spike - 6/22/2014 1:17 PM
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its a shame public service has to be called on something before they do what is right

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