Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby and the Board of Supervisors officially welcomed the Super Scoopers and Helitanker during a news conference Friday morning.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented drought,” Chief Osby said, adding that there was a possibility that the fires would be “very extreme.” “The Super Scoopers and the Helitanker give our firefighters the added boost.”
This is the 22nd year the Fire Department has contracted with the Government of Quebec to bring two Bombardier CL-415s—the only aircraft specifically designed for firefighting. The Department has also leased the Helitanker from Erickson Air-Crane for numerous years.
“(The Government of Quebec is) happy to be able to bring the Bombardier CL-415s,” said Melissa Isom, a representative of Quebec’s government. “The Quebec government is really proud of their relationship with Los Angeles County.”
Each Super Scooper can fill its tanks with 1,620 gallons of water in about 12 seconds. The Helitanker takes just 60 seconds to fill its 2,650-gallon tank.
The three aircraft will augment the Fire Department’s existing fleet of nine helicopters for the next several months.
The Super Scoopers arrived Aug. 13 and were put into service Aug. 15. Since then, they’ve helped contain fires in Palos Verdes, Montebello and Castaic.
Photo gallery at top: The Super Scoopers and the Helitanker are deployed from Van Nuys Tanker Base. Photos by Nicole Mooradian and Douglas G. Morrison.