With record high temperatures and a historic drought, the industry is preparing for a fire season like no other. Throughout the night of Sep. 5, 2020, members of the California National Guard (Cal Guard)  40th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) rescued 242 people and numerous pets from the uncontained Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest northeast of Fresno. In the end, the soldiers described the experience as much worse than flying in combat. Labor Day vacationers that day were cornered by the blaze, huddled on a beach and in the forest’s Mammoth Pool Reservoir, suffering from burns, broken bones, and difficulty breathing due to smoke inhalation. With a UH-60 Black Hawk and a CH-47 Chinook, the 40th CAB flew three harrowing missions each that night to bring the people to safety, earning the team the 2021 HAI Salute to Excellence Humanitarian Service Award. Hear from the team itself at the Jul. 1 HAI@Work webinar, where members of the 40th CAB will tell their heroic story and discuss the growing dire conditions that could increase the need for more such rescues this year. They’ll then join panelists from Erickson and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) to

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