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Michigan 'Bambi Bucket' Saves the Day

Bambi Bucket Overview Photo
Department of Natural Resources
The "Huey" helicopter hovers over forest with the "Bambi" Bucket

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and State Police have been working together to put out wildfires for years. Until recently, not all the resources were utilized due to funding.

The two departments hatched a plan starting in 2016 to attach a 320-gallon bucket of water underneath a helicopter to stop fires from spreading. With a $25,000 federal grant, the DNR was able to obtain the 'Bambi Bucket' to fulfill their project.

Dan Laux, a State Wildland Fire Supervisor, said the partnership with the State Police is one of many lasting bonds with state departments.

“I would just like to emphasize the importance of the partnership that we have with other state departments,” he said. “This is just one example of how we all work together to accomplish some common goals and needs and support each other's operations."

The 'Bambi Bucket' helped in a recent fire near Grayling. Laux said the fire was contained to under 20 acres and it would have spread more had it not been for the large bucket.

The Bambi Bucket is normally housed in Lansing, but can be flown to Roscommon to stand by in the event that it may be needed to respond quickly to fires in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Michael Gonzalez is a fourth year at Central Michigan that majors in journalism. He is from Pinckney, Michigan, will be an intern for WCMU and the Alpena News this summer.