In a press event on August 18th, the County of Los Angeles Fire Department formally announced the return of the beloved CL-415 Bombardier “Super Scoopers” and Erickson Air Crane Helitankers to Van Nuys Airport to assist the region during fire season, which has been declared earlier than usual this year.
As open fire season in Southern California ushers in an increased level of preparedness to help combat the higher probability of fire hazards, these aircraft allow local fire authorities to quickly contain wildfires and respond with a greater mitigation potential. Flying at high speed, the turbo-prop Scoopers are able to skim across the surface of lakes or reservoirs and take in up to 1,600 gallons of water in only 12 seconds. This method removes the need for a water refilling station, which may too far away to utilize.
Representatives from Los Angeles and Quebec also spoke on their “Ready, Set, Go” preparations and how drought conditions will be affecting the region in the coming months.
The Super Scoopers and Air Crane Helitanker have been loaned to the County of Los Angeles from Quebec, Canada for the region’s fire season for almost two decades, and come equipped with a staff of pilots and mechanics to service the aircraft. Initial deployment typically lasts for approximately 90 days, but may be extended if a need for their assistance arises.