BOISE, Idaho (KLIX) Military aircraft have been deployed to help fight wildfires burning in the west. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise says two RC-26 aircraft have been put into service to help detect and map wildfires. The Air National Guard planes are equipped with infrared sensors that allow them to fly over wildfires day or night to provide tactical information to fight fires.

“Receiving timely and accurate infrared information is critically important because it enables fire managers to respond quickly as new starts are identified and determine where suppression operations have been effective and where more work needs to be done,” said Dan Buckley, Chair of the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group at NIFC. “Having the military aircraft will boost our capability to provide these services to more fires on a more regular basis.”

According to the NIFC, there are 50 wildfires burning in eight states that have charred so far 275,000 acres. The aircraft will be stationed in Washington and Oregon for now. Last week the NIFC raised the fire urgency level to it's highest.