Video: Erickson Air-Crane Helitankers Dampen Wildfires in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest

September 11, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Four of Erickson’s Helitankers are flying long hours battling the large “Station Fire” consuming homes and forcing thousands of evacuations. In previous weeks, they have already helped put out wildfires in Washington State, Oregon, Utah, Greece, and British Columbia and will soon be to Australia for the bushfire season that is soon approaching.

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(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090911/NY74196 )

“Our helicopters do so many things, from heavy lifts atop tall buildings, power line construction and logging to fighting wildfire and emergency response,” said Udo Rieder, President and CEO of Erickson Air-Crane. “But clearly our busiest time, where speed is of the essence and our dispatch crews work around the clock, is in response to the many wildfires that burn out of control in so many parts of the world. It is also the most harrowing flying for our pilots and crews and the most rewarding for all of the Erickson employees – knowing that we really do make a difference saving lives and property.”

In California, where several wildfires have burned from the northern part of the state to Southern California, the Aircranes have been a critical part of the Forest Service arsenal. Four Aircranes are making sortie after sortie, dropping millions of gallons water and retardant on the fires and clearly making a difference. Erickson’s Aircranes are stationed in Southern California and several other parts of the country under annual contracts with the U.S. Forest Service as well as the city and county of Los Angeles.

Our helicopters will be there working in concert with the ground fight until the last embers are extinguished,” said Rieder.

Erickson Air-Crane has seasonal firefighting contracts with the U.S. Forest Service, Los Angeles City, and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. Internationally, Erickson has contracted with Australia for yearly employment of five Aircrane Helitankers and with the government of Greece for the seasonal use of five Helitankers. Since development of the tank system in 1992, Erickson Air-Crane has sent Helitankers to battle wildfires in 11 countries including the United States and Canada.

SOURCE Erickson Air-Crane

Source: newswire

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