San Diego prepares for fire season

 - January 29, 2007, 5:46 AM

San Diego’s city council voted unanimously to extend the lease on its fire helicopter for six months. The Bell 212HP is operated by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, but paid for by the county.

The lease of the aircraft, through Boise, Idaho-based Kachina-Helijet Aviation, was due to expire at Christmas. The County Board of Supervisors agreed to set aside $1.6 million to extend the lease on the aircraft on a month-to-month basis from January through June. The helicopter costs about $255,900 per month to operate, according to a city manager’s report.