Washington state to restore Huey helicopter for firefighting

(Information from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — An aircraft nearly 50-years-old is being restored to help fight wildfires in Washington state.

KING-TV reports the Department of Natural Resources is using $1.1 million from the state’s budget to bring the Huey helicopter back to life.

The helicopter was first built in 1970 and used in Vietnam.

The DNR already has nine former Hueys in their fleet to drop water on fires across the state. The aircraft were given to DNR free of charge when the Army decommissioned them.

This helicopter will be the 10th in Washington state’s fleet and has been in storage since 2011.

DNR Land Commissioner Hilary Franz says once the helicopters are updated, they’re efficient firefighting tools and much cheaper than buying a new equivalent for around $13 million.