Aerial Firefighters Meeting California Fire Emergency

The private aerial firefighting industry is engaging in an ongoing battle to contain some of the two-dozen wildfires currently burning throughout California, including the largest, most destructive Rocky Fire, which, as of August 5, has burned over 68,300 acres of Lake, Yolo, and Colusa Counties near Clear Lake.

At the same time, the operators have given the US Forest Service (USFS) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) high marks for their efforts to coordinate the deployment of aerial assets throughout the state during what is shaping up to be one of the worst fire seasons in the state’s history. In fact, according to CAL FIRE statistics, between January 1, and August 1, 2015, 100,000 acres had been consumed by 4,201 California wildfires—twice the average acreage during the previous five year period–prompting California Governor Jerry Brown, to declare a state of emergency…

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