LA County Fire team shows off its firefighting air force, boosted by nimble leased aircraft – Daily News
Firefighting helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft sat on the sunbaked tarmac at the Van Nuys Airport on Wednesday, Sept. 7, as reporters and camera operators looked them over.
The array of specialized aircraft is part of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and the media got to look them over during the LACO Fire Department’s annual contract aircraft media day.
L.A. County Acting Fire Chief Anthony C. Marrone and L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger hosted the event and provided an update on the 2022 wildfire season.
Officials from SoCal Edison and the Quebec government were also on hand to talk about their contributions to the firefighting fleet.
A leased Boeing Chinook CH-47, known as Helitanker 55, was made possible through a partnership with Southern California Edison. The Helitanker can carry 3,000 gallons of water and uses a snorkel to pull water from a water source or can be filled on the ground.
Two Bombardier CL-415 SuperScoopers, leased from the government of Quebec during the peak fire season,. can drop 1,600 gallons of water and refill their tanks in seconds by skimming across a body of water.
Fire officials also talked about their “Ready! Set! Go!” program to help prepare homeowners for wildfires and their expectation that 2022 will be a busy year for fighting them.
It has already been a hectic season. This week, firefighters are dousing the last vestiges of the trhe Route Fire, which began around noon last Wednesday alongside the Golden State (5) Freeway north of Lake Hughes Road. It has burned more than 5,200 acres, destroyed two structures and led to seven heat-related firefighter injuries.
In neighboring Riverside County, the commander overseeing the fight against the Fairview fire that grew to nearly 10,000 acres on Wednesday said he is doubling the number of people, aircraft and fire engines attacking the deadly blaze. The fire, a couple of miles from Hemet, grew to 7,091 acres by early Wednesday, and by late afternoon had consumed 9,846 acres, officials said. Two people died on the first day of the blaze.