By Staff Writer | June 23, 2015
As the 2015 U.S. wildfire season intensifies, especially in the drought-stricken states of Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Alaska and California, Erickson Incorporated is prepared to aggressively deploy aircraft and crews wherever needed. The company has renewed national wildland fire suppression contracts with the U.S. Forest Service and other municipalities, and has contracted with the U.S. Forest Service for 34 consecutive years.
Photo courtesy of Erickson Incorporated
Erickson’s S-64 Aircrane is fitted with a 2,500 gallon tank capable of snorkeling or scooping fresh or salt water from sources as shallow as 18 inches with a fill rate of less than a minute. The tank has internal foam mixing capabilities, and can dispense water or retardant from an attached water cannon at a rate of 300 gallons per minute. Through proprietary engineering improvements, air crews can also open the tank doors to deploy all 2,500 gallons in a precision water drop. In addition, the S-64 is able to provide close support and increased safety for ground-based firefighters who depend on aerial suppression for initial attack. The S-64 can be positioned close to the fire’s edge, snorkeling water from nearby ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. If water is not available close by, water can be trucked in and held in large pumpkin-shaped tanks to be snorkeled out by our expert pilots. This gives the helicopter an advantage over fixed-wing aircraft that must return to an airport to reload. Erickson continues to develop and integrate new technologies that will make fire suppression even more effective.
Globally, Erickson has maintained fire suppression operations in Greece, Turkey, and Australia.
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