Wildland fire helicopter training planned this week in South Dakota

PIERRE — South Dakota Wildland Fire will conduct its annual wildland fire helicopter recertification with the South Dakota National Guard Aviation Unit on Friday.

The certification allows for South Dakota National Guard Black Hawk helicopters to respond to wildland fires. The yearly certification is required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Interior.

Flight operations training will take place at a helibase located at the Hot Springs airport. Aerial water delivery practice will occur on the east end of Sheps Canyon with National Guard helicopters dipping water buckets in Angostura Reservoir.

Recreational users are advised to stay clear of these areas between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday.

Unmanned aerial system (drone) operators should not fly in this area during the training exercise. Helicopter flight operations and the training exercise will be shut down if a drone is flying in the area. Please avoid drone flights in the area during the exercise.

To learn more about DPS, visit dps.sd.gov.