Photo by Douglas Morrison.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and CL-415 SuperScooper Representative Élizabeth Mackay held a media day at the Van Nuys Tanker Base on Friday, August 18, 2017, to highlight the arrival of firefighting aircraft resources now in service for the 2017 fire season. The aircraft under contract include two Canadian CL-415 SuperScoopers and one Erickson Air-Crane S-64F Helitanker.
For the past 24 years, the Fire Department has leased the SuperScoopers from the Government of Quebec. The arrangement between Los Angeles County and Canada is not only essential for fighting fires in the county, but helps to keep the pilot’s skills honed after Canada’s fire season has subsided.
Chief Osby stated that the Department is anticipating increased fire activity due to high temperatures, Santa Ana wind conditions and an abundance of dry grass. He also reminded the public not to fly drones anywhere near a wildfire as it could cause serious injury or death to firefighters in the air or to people on the ground. “We ask for our citizens to work with us,” Chief Osby remarked as he encouraged homeowners to use the Department’s “Ready, Set, Go!” Wildfire Action Plan for brush clearance and home preparation tips.
Supervisor Barger commended the work of the Department in protecting the homes and property of Los Angeles County residents and welcomed the return of the SuperScoopers and the Helitanker as they assist and bring the extra firefighting muscle when LA needs it most. Mackay expressed a great appreciation for the positive impact of the ongoing relationship between Los Angeles County, the State of California and the Government of Quebec.