To help combat one of the worst fire seasons the Southland has seen, a pair of Super Scooper fire-fighting aircrafts leased from Quebec, Canada, and a Helitanker, are now in service in Los Angeles County, according to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
“When the Santa Ana winds begin to blow across the region, wildfires can become deadly, as we have seen in previous extreme fire seasons,” said Antonovich in a statement. “The Super Scoopers and the Helitanker provide a ‘one-two punch’ in addition to County Fire’s own aerial fleet – powerful tools to protect life and property.”
The Los Angeles County Fire Department began leasing the Super Scoopers from Quebec in 1994 and the Helitanker in 2007. The fixed wing super-scoopers are contracted for 90 days at a cost of $2.75 million.
The aircrafts are capable of carrying up to 1,620 gallons of water, Super Scoopers can also scoop water from a lake in only 12 seconds, be airborne in five minutes and fly three hours before refueling. The Erickson Air-Crane Type I Helitanker can deliver 2,500 gallons per drop, according to Antonovich’s office.