Wildland fire suppression

June 3, 2009 - 7:52am

Columbia Helicopters has dispatched one of its Boeing 234 Chinook tandem-rotor helicopters to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to assist with wildfire suppression. The helicopter is based in Cancun on a 30-day contract in partnership with Vertical Aviation of San Antonio and Scala Helicopters in Mexico City. It is Columbia’s first firefighting assignment in Mexico.

February 20, 2009 - 7:39am

It was an unusual report that swiftly sent the Grand Canyon National Park Helitack–this year’s winner of the Igor I. Sikorsky Humanitarian Service Award–into action last August 17. “In the early morning we got a report that there were five boats floating down river with no passengers on board,” said Jay Lusher, helicopter program manager for Grand Canyon National Park.

February 19, 2009 - 11:08am

It was an unusual report that swiftly sent the Grand Canyon National Park Helitack–this year’s winner of the Igor I. Sikorsky Humanitarian Service Award–into action last August 17. “In the early morning we got a report that there were five boats floating down river with no passengers on board,” said Jay Lusher, helicopter program manager for Grand Canyon National Park.

August 29, 2008 - 1:05pm

With the recent wildfires in Northern California reaching historic proportions, the human toll rose as a helicopter ferrying an 11-member firefighting crew from the front lines crashed on August 5, resulting in nine fatalities (see story on facing page).

April 18, 2008 - 11:02am

By mid-June the national wildfire situation was speeding past all-time record proportions in nearly every category. According to a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, the total acreage burned so far this year is nearly double the 10-year annual average (861,786 acres) at 1,546,742 acres. “This is the driest much of the West, especially Colorado, has been in the last 50 years,” she said.

October 8, 2007 - 10:37am
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Despite the media attention on the Montana fires last summer and Southern California fires in October, last year’s fire season didn’t come even close to being the worst in recent times, according to statistics generated by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) of Boise, Idaho.

October 8, 2007 - 9:40am

Some forest fires start with a blast of jagged lightning, incinerating the dry timber and flinging the flaming fragments into the tinder-dry underbrush from which flames soon reach skyward.

June 8, 2007 - 6:14am

Eurocopter AS 350-B3, Yellow Pine, Idaho, Aug. 13, 2006–The AS 350 was destroyed and the commercial pilot and three passengers killed when the helicopter crashed 18 miles west of Yellow Pine. The helicopter was being operated by Evergreen Helicopters, of McMinnville, Ore., under contract to the U.S. Forest Service. The helicopter had flown from Krassel Helibase to take a relief fire lookout to Williams Peak lookout tower.

March 22, 2007 - 8:21am

As AIN went to press, the severity of the 2003 forest fire season was repeating, as feared, in Europe as well as in the western U.S. Blazes in forest and scrub land were causing havoc, particularly in France, Portugal, Spain and, on the eve of the Olympic Games, in Greece.

March 16, 2007 - 11:34am

In the aftermath of last fall’s California wildfires–the state’s most destructive ever–a “blue ribbon” commission last month heard tacit admission that a state rule requiring firefighting aircraft to land a half-hour before sunset may have allowed a controllable blaze to become a huge, deadly conflagration.

 
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