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U.S. Needs More Helos to Fight Wildfires

By Ernie Stephens   | August 9, 2007

With more than 40 major wildfires raging in the western United States, the National Interagency Fire Center is short helicopters to battle the blazes. Over 200 rotorcraft and many fixed-wing aircraft are fighting the fires now,  but attack coordinators want more. “We need more, but they aren’t available, probably because there’s a lot of work in the oil and logging industry right now,” Kim Christensen told Rotor & Wing. She is a manager with the center, the federal organization that coordinates fire incidents exceeding state and local agencies' boundaries and resources. “We only have about 60 percent of the call-when-needed helicopters we used to have.” As a result, the center is asking operators of medium and large helicopters interested in helping the firefighting effort to contact it at www.fs.fed.us/fire/contracting/.   For related news, go here, and check Rotorcraft Report in the upcoming September issue of Rotor & Wing.

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