Training will impact some trails and recreation access between May 24 and 26

information released

Forest users in the Number 2 Canyon area, approximately 5 miles southwest of Wenatchee, WA, will see a helicopter flying over the area May 24 through May 26 as Forest Service emergency medical short-haul rappel crews complete training for the upcoming fire season. These crews will be re-certifying their short-haul skills during this time period.

Although the gate on the No. 2 Canyon Road will be closed, hikers and mountain bikers need to be aware that Forest Service vehicles will be using the Horse Lake Mountain Road (FS Road #7101-500). No trails will be closed while this training occurs. For those using the Community Property, Easy Monday, and The Meadow trails, which run next to the meadow in the Martin Ranch area where the helicopter will be landing to reload short-haulers, recreational travelers are asked to stay on the trail and comply with directions from Forest Service personnel for safety purposes.

No drones are allowed in the vicinity where helicopter operations will occur. This will ensure the safety of aviators and avoid any potential for a mid-air collision.

The Forest Service Short-Haul Program provides a highly specialized delivery of medical and extraction personnel and equipment when a conventional rescue operation would expose rescue personnel and/or patients to a higher degree of risk, or when there are no helicopter landing sites. Short-haul is also used when a patient has life and/or loss of limb threatening injury or other medical complications that call for prompt extraction.

“The Forest Service Short-haul Program has been in place since 2015. It follows the guidelines set up by the National Park Service which started the short-haul program in 1986,” said Wenatchee Short-Haul Program Foreman Mcdonald Bones.

“Helitack crews, capable of short-haul, are primary fire suppression assets and short-haul is just an additional capability supporting work in the field. Short-haul means transporting one or more persons suspended beneath a helicopter on a fixed line, and the duration of the flight is as short as possible to deliver the patient to a suitable landing zone where the individual may be transported to a higher level of medical care,” Bones said.

For more information about the emergency medical short-haul program visit the Wenatchee Valley Airbase website.