- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Two military aircraft will help detect and map wildfires in the U.S. West.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday says the Air National Guard aircraft will be based in eastern Washington state and western Oregon.

Officials say the twin-engine, propeller-driven aircraft are equipped with infrared sensors that can map wildfires and give fire managers information that can help with strategy.

Federal officials last week raised the National Fire Preparedness Level to its highest point, opening the way for assistance from the military.

Officials say that about 50 large wildfires are burning in eight western states on about 430 square miles.

Dan Buckley of the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group that deploys the nation’s wildland firefighting resources says the aircraft will help managers decide where to send firefighters.

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