As they have done for the last 21 fire seasons, the Los Angeles County Fire Department has contracted for two water-scooping air tankers. The CL-415s, leased from the Quebec government, started at the first of this month and will be able to carry up to 1,620 gallons of water with each drop. Due to numerous fires late in 2013 and the Colby Fire in January, 2014, they worked several weeks beyond their planned December termination date last year.
The department also brought on a Helitanker, an Erickson Air-Crane S-64F that can hold 2,650 gallons of water or retardant.
These three aircraft join the Department’s own fleet of nine helicopters to help County firefighters on the ground suppress fires during the windy Santa Ana season.