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Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter helps put out fire near Santa Rosa airport

Henry 1, the Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter, was pulled into double-duty Sunday to help fight a stubborn fire in a large pile of wood chips near Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.

The helicopter crew, which is trained in some firefighting skills in addition to law enforcement, made almost 40 water drops on the fire, according to the department.

About 3:15 p.m., the crew took off from near the airport west of Windsor and noticed smoke, but thought it was a controlled burn since there was heavy equipment nearby and piles of fallen trees that were being cut up, the department said. Sonoma County Fire Department officials were dispatched.

A short time later, the crew saw the smoke plume had grown considerably and returned to the area.

Firefighters asked the helicopter crew to use the water bucket on board to help fight the blaze.

Crews worked for more than an hour to extinguish flames in the wood chip pile.

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