Button Rock Preserve to Host Wildland Fire Helicopter Training

The following is a press release from the City of Longmont and is published by the Longmont Observer as a public service.

Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes
Image provided by the City of Longmont.

national guard firefighting training at Button Rock Preserve

The Colorado Army National Guard will be conducting live bucket operations with multiple helicopters out of the Ralph Price Reservoir with direction from ground resources on simulated fire perimeters in typical terrain in the Button Rock Preserve. The objective is to allow both the National Guard and firefighters to share a realistic, high-quality training opportunity. A qualified instructor will be on the ground to coach trainees on proper Air to Ground Communication procedures as well as proper standard target description techniques.

  • The training exercises will consist of military aircraft and ground-based firefighters
  • The exercise allows for communications practice from air to ground and for the delivery of water to simulated fire zones
  • Aircraft will land to attach water buckets, fly to an altitude of between 500-1,500 feet above ground level, retrieve water from Ralph Price Reservoir, and then deliver water to drop sites identified by ground-based firefighters
  • Some Button Rock trails will be closed during this training exercise for your protection. Please respect the closure signs
  • Areas adjacent to Ralph Price Reservoir may experience high wind and noise
    levels during the training exercises

The National Guard is coordinating this training with City of Longmont staff to ensure safety to visitors, wildlife and the environment within Button Rock Preserve. Although this training will create a level of disturbance for visitors, it is a valuable opportunity for wildland firefighters to gain familiarity with Button Rock Preserve should a fire ever threaten the area, in addition to building skills for use across the state of Colorado.

Planned Dates and Times for National Guard Training Operations at Ralph Price Reservoir

Be prepared for extra activity in the preserve during the dates and times listed below.

  • April 2 – 3 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • April 5 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • April 9 – 12 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

helicopter carrying water at Button Rock Preserve


How much do you value the Longmont Observer?

As Longmont’s only nonprofit newsroom, our only vested interest is to supply you with quality, nonpartisan, community-driven, Longmont-focused journalism. But, we need your help. We depend on our members to help us report Longmont news and to keep our journalism available and accessible by all. If you value what we do at the Longmont Observer, please show us with your support. 

Yes, I'll Donate Today