Helitack provides attack

The Teton Helitack crew from the Bridger Teton National Forest out of Jackson, Wyo., spent 14 days camped at the Meeker Airport and responded to 15 fires during their stay. The crew included helicopter crew members Nic Glatt and Kate Ball, helicopter mechanic fuel truck driver Randy ??, crew members Chris Edwards and Philip Brass, squad leader Matt Lancaster, crew supervisor David A. Gomez and helicopter pilot Steve Wilson, with Helicopter Express.

The Teton Helitack crew from the Bridger Teton National Forest out of Jackson, Wyo., spent 14 days camped at the Meeker Airport and responded to 15 fires during their stay. The crew included helicopter crew members Nic Glatt and Kate Ball, helicopter mechanic fuel truck driver Randy ??, crew members Chris Edwards and Philip Brass, squad leader Matt Lancaster, crew supervisor David A. Gomez and helicopter pilot Steve Wilson, with Helicopter Express.
RBC I The Teton Helitack team from Jackson, Wyo., first came to Rio Blanco County July 22, to help with the Powell fire. After it was contained, they stayed to help for 14 more days before returning to Wyoming Monday, Aug. 4.
“We responded to 15 fires while we were here,” said David Gomez, crew supervisor for the interagency fire team. “We were sent here to provide large fire support for the Powell fire and have since provided initial attack for the local White River District.”
Gomez and his team will return to the Bridger Teton National Forest in western Wyoming where they are based.
“We’ll get a couple of days off then go back to work,” Gomez said of his team’s future. “We may have activity at home and stay or they may send us out, it depends on where the need is.”
Gomez’s team, who camped at the Meeker Airport, consisted of squad leader Matt Lancaster, two crew members (Nic Glatt and Kate Ball), two helo crew members (Chris Edwards and Philip Brass) and Gomez. Gomez said the pilot, aircraft and fuel truck are contracted with Helicopter Express but also based out of the Bridger Teton district.
Gomez, who also acts as the helicopter manager, flies in the front with pilot Steve Wilson and two firefighters/crew members in the back.
“We have the chase truck and fuel truck follow us,” Gomez said. “We provide initial attack, size-up and determine if additional resources are needed, then communicate with dispatch. We take action on fire that local fire management plans dictate, whether it be to suppress, contain or confine.”
The Teton Helitack team also responded to the Wolf Fire, which has burned 6,100 acres five miles south of Elk Springs off U.S. Highway 40 in Moffat County. According to a press release, the Wolf Fire was caused by lightning on Bureau of Land Management and has burned on to private land.
The Wolf Fire was 75 percent contained Aug. 3 and was expected to be 100 percent contained by Aug. 9. More than 170 people helped fight the fire, including aerial support but demobilization of engines and crews was underway Aug. 3.