The first short-haul rescue completed at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Short-haul rescue in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, June 2, 2020. NPS photo by Tom Schaefer. After training for years, on June 2 park rangers at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park executed their first short-haul…

This is why the United States only has 13 large air tankers

The Forest Service Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry misled Senators during a hearing today I was out of town when today’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources started this morning about the current wildland…

An introduction to the Durango Airtanker Base

The video below was posted to YouTube June 2, 2020 by the Southwest Colorado Wildfire Coalition, with this description: Air resources can be extremely valuable in fighting a wildland fire. In Southwestern Colorado, with the dry weather this year and…

Forest Service needs to be more transparent while spending hundreds of millions contracting for firefighting aircraft

CAL FIRE air tanker 118 at Sacramento McClellan Airport. The Forest Service was given seven of these HC-130Hs formerly owned by the Coast Guard in order to convert them to air tankers, but lost interest and regifted them to the…

Two CWN large airtankers to be activated

Tanker 101, an MD-87, at Jeffco, May, 2020; a sister ship to the one activated on CWN. Photo by @skippyscage The Forest Service has activated two Call When Needed large air tankers for a 90-day Mandatory Availability Period. Tanker 104…

More details about the 36 firefighting helicopters awarded 90-day contracts

Ground and taxi test at the Medford airport October 21, 2019 for an Erickson Air-Crane purchased by the Korea Forest Service. Photo by Tim Crippin. More details are trickling out about the 36 Type 1 and Type 2 helicopters that…

One of the four Alaska Department of Forestry employees hospitalized after airplane crash has been released

The wreckage of an Alaska Division of Forestry aircraft that crashed on takeoff at the Aniak, Alaska airport, May 28, 2020. Photo by David Mattson. (This is updated information from the Alaska Department of Forestry about the aircraft crash that…

LA County Firehawk loses engine, makes precautionary landing

LA County Firehawk helicopters, photo by Bill Gabbert, Jan. 26, 2020. It was first called an “emergency landing” by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, but was later downgraded to a “precautionary landing.” Go to Source to read more Author:…

An assortment of Coulson helicopters at San Bernardino

Coulson-Unical helicopters at San Bernardino. Coulson photo May 25, 2020. Coulson Aviation posted these photos May 25 of an assortment of Coulson-Unical helicopters at San Bernardino. Coulson-Unical helicopters at San Bernardino. Coulson photo May 25, 2020. Coulson-Unical helicopters at San…

Conair — 50 years in less than 5 minutes

Screenshot from the Conair film Conair has produced a short video documenting the history of the company. Jeff Berry, Director of Business Development, described it for us: “2020 is Conair’s 51st fire season supporting wildfire control agencies around the world.…

Another Firehawk arrives at McClellan

Helicopter 205 at McClellan. Photo by John Vogel 5-21-2020. Another new Sikorsky S-70i Firehawk has been delivered to CAL FIRE’s base at Sacramento McClellan Airport. John Vogel spotted it May 21, two weeks after Paul Filmer photographed it being flight…

Pandemic makes it difficult to obtain raw materials to produce fire retardant

Dry retardant mix that the Royal Australian Air Force transported from the U.S. to Australia in January, 2020. For decades the U.S. Forest Service has had long term contracts with the company now known as Perimeter Solutions to supply, mix,…

Parallel Flight Technology’s next drone model will be able to carry 100 pounds for hours

Joshua Resnick, the CEO of Parallel Flight Technologies, describes in a video how their drones can carry chainsaws and other equipment for wildland firefighters. Image from Santa Cruz Tech Beat video. The first experimental drone that Parallel Flight Technology (PFT)…

Two CAL FIRE C-130 air tankers spotted at McClellan

CAL FIRE air tanker 118 at Sacramento McClellan Airport. Photographed by John Vogel March 4, 2020. John Vogel photographed two of CAL FIRE’s HC-130H soon-to-be-air-tankers. He spotted them at Sacramento McClellan Airport on March 4, 2020. I wonder what CAL…

Tanker 101 on the Moonfish Fire

Air Tanker 101, an MD-87, drops on the Moonfish Fire in Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida. It was dropping plain water, rather than retardant or another chemical, due to the sensitivity of the Everglades ecosystem. Photo by Megan…

Contracts to be awarded for 28 Type 1 firefighting helicopters

Helicopter Transport Services’ Helicopter 718 maneuvers over the Red Canyon Fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota, July 19, 2016. It appears that five of the company’s ships will receive Exclusive Use contracts. Photo by Bill Gabbert. On Monday…

USFS awards 90-day contracts for 22 additional helicopters

The U.S. Forest Service has awarded 90-day contracts for an 22 additional helicopters that can lift at least 3,300 or 7,000 pounds. This second list was released by the agency May 13 and is a result of a solicitation requesting…

Rappeller training in Idaho modified for COVID-19

Rappel training in Salmon, ID. USFS photo. Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service CURRENT HEALTH GUIDELINES TO BE IMPLEMENTED AT FIREFIGHTER ACADEMIES As the fire season approaches, annual firefighter and rappel training conducted in May and June on the Salmon-Challis…

Rough day for a DC-4

(Originally published at 5:40 p.m. PDT May 10, 2020) Manny D-man 01 sent us this photo of air tanker 15: I was looking through some old photos and ran across a couple you might be interested in. I was a…

Two new Firehawks tested in Colorado

Eventually will be delivered to CAL FIRE and Los Angeles County FD Paul Filmer sent us these photos of new S-70i Firehawk helicopters being tested at the Centennial, Colorado Airport. Several wildland fire agencies have used the services of United…

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