By Staff Writer | August 18, 2015
Despite predictions from the National Interagency Fire Center as well as its own extensive preparations in outfitting its Air-Cranes, Erickson Inc. said that the 2015 sluggish firefighting season contributed to lost revenues in Q2. The company reported Aug. 6 in a Q2 earnings call that its second-quarter revenue for commercial aviation services was $34.3 million, approximately $1.3 million less than Q2 revenue last year. Although that segment encompasses four end markets (fire fighting, infrastructure construction, timber harvesting, and oil and gas), CEO Jeff Roberts attributed much of the loss to a firefighting season he said "started a bit slow." "I saw the numbers this morning. There are about 43 of what you call large fires going on in the western United States, so the activity has certainly picked up," said Roberts. But, he added, factors such as changeable weather conditions make accurate seasonal predictions difficult. The company has renewed national wildland fire suppression contracts with the U.S. Forest Service and other municipalities and has contracted with the Forest Service for 34 consecutive years. Globally, Erickson has maintained fire suppression operations in Greece, Turkey and Australia.