These days it is not uncommon on a large fire to see a helicopter dropping retardant or a Chinook with an internal tank, or… both at the same time.
This photo of a Columbia Helicopters ship supporting a very large firing operation on the Thomas Fire was in a tweet by the Los Padres National Forest.
12.20.2017 Firefighters continue the successful firing operation near Highway 33 to create a corridor that is wide enough to stop the fire’s spread to the north. #ThomasFire Photos by Information Officer Erin McKenzie pic.twitter.com/LVWaEBwfHP
— Los Padres NF (@LosPadresNF) December 20, 2017
In July we posted the KEYT video below which originally was streamed live on YouTube, showing and explaining the activities at a facility set up at the Whittier Fire northwest of Goleta, California for mixing retardant for helicopters that could draft to refill their tanks. The 11-minute video did not show any ships with buckets — just Type 1 helicopters with internal or external tanks.
The video below shows several helicopters including the same Columbia Helicopters aircraft and the 747, supporting the Thomas Fire on December 13, 2017.