Above: A Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopters drops water on the Fish Fire, June 21, 2016. LACoFD photo by Gene Blevins.
(Originally published at 5:344 p.m. MST January 24, 2018)
Colorado’s Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting has issued a 28-page report that analyzes nighttime aerial firefighting. Primarily it documents what several Southern California firefighting agencies are currently doing with helicopters at night.
The table below from the report presumably applies to the single helicopter that is double-crewed on the Angeles National Forest to operate both during the day and at night.
The report does not make any recommendations about flying at night, but does list seven “scenarios” that could be considered for Colorado:
- No night aerial firefighting operations in Colorado
- Night Operations statewide — wildfire only
- Night operations statewide — all hazards
- Location-specific night operations
- Expanded Multi-Mission fixed wing, for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance at night (the state owns two Pilatus PC‐12 fixed‐wing aircraft currently being used for missions such as these)
- Extended daytime flight hours
- Unmanned aerial systems night operations, short-term and long-term
Below are tweets showing mostly Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopters operating at night.
— LACoFireAirOps (@LACoFireAirOps) September 26, 2017
— COA (@Lacitychiefs) September 2, 2017
— chief_miller (@chief_miller) September 30, 2017
— LACoFireAirOps (@LACoFireAirOps) October 30, 2016