The Mesa Verde Interagency Helitack crew is a Wildlland fire crew that consists of 8 experienced wildland firefighters specially trained in wildland fire suppression, search and rescue and helicopter operations. The crew has a long history dating back to its foundation in 1979 and has gone through many changes since its inception. In 2016, the crew was nationally approved to conduct short-haul operations to assist the growing need for external helicopter extraction of injured persons out of the back country. Staffing of the helicopter runs 120 days from the middle of May to the end of September but is often extended depending on the severity of the fire season.
Our coverage area of over 8 million acres includes: Mesa Verde National Park, San Juan National Forest, San Juan District Bureau of Land Management, Southern Ute, Ute Mountain Indian Reservations and state and private lands. Trips out of the Durango zone to support operations nationally are quite common and can be for extended periods of time when local fire activity is minimal.