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air-37 california highway patrol

Air-37 is one of two California Highway Patrol planes based at the Napa County Airport.

A Napa-based airplane spent much of Thursday and part of Friday aiding firefighters battling the Camp Fire in Butte County.

The fast-spreading Camp Fire has ravaged 70,000 acres and an estimated 2,000 structures, and injured three firefighters, according to the Cal Fire-Butte unit.

The California Highway Patrol's Golden Gate Division Air Operations unit, which is based at the Napa County Airport and oversees the greater Bay Area, pitched in this week by offering up one of its planes.

A two-person crew in the Air-37 plane looked for safe routes on the ground for firefighters to approach and retreat from the fire. CHP crews only fly in and around the fire when they absolutely have to, in order to avoid firefighting planes, CHP said.

Also pitching in are aircraft from the CHP's Northern, Central and Valley Divisions, which oversee areas from the San Joaquin Valley to the northernmost California counties, according to the CHP Air Operations' Facebook page.

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Public Safety Reporter

Courtney Teague is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She can be reached at 707-256-2221. You can follow her reporting on Twitter and Facebook, or send her anonymous tip at: tinyurl.com/anonymous-tipbox-courtney.