Firefighting aircraft at the Range Fire in California

Range Fire air tanker
Air tanker 66 on the Range Fire, August 27, 2016. Photo by Trey Spooner.

We have some excellent photos of aircraft that worked the Range Fire on August 27 six miles east of Arvin, California — thanks to Trey Spooner and the Kern County Fire Department. The fire burned 518 acres and is 100 percent contained.

Kern County’s Helicopter 408, a Bell UH-1H, made 81 water drops at the fire on August 26.

H-408 Range Fire
H-408 on the Range Fire, August 26, 2016. Trey Spooner photo.
Range Fire air tanker
Air tanker 66 on the Range Fire, August 27, 2016. Photo by Trey Spooner.
Range Fire air tanker
Air tanker 12 on the Range Fire, August 27, 2016. Photo by Kern County Fire Department.

Video of DC-10 dropping on Chimney Fire

DC-10 Chimney Fire
Screenshot from SLOStringer’s video

@SLOStringer shot an excellent video of Tanker 911, a DC-10, getting down low to make a drop on the Chimney Fire in San Luis Obispo County in California. We can’t embed the Twitter video here, but check it out.

Aircraft on the Gopher Fire in southern California

Above: Air Tanker 163, an RJ85, drops on the Gopher Fire near Escondido, California August 8, 2016. Photo by Michael Burge.

Michael Burge shot these photos of an RJ85 air tanker and an Air-Crane helicopter August 8, 2016 on the Gopher Fire which burned 35 acres near a residential area off Interstate 15 near Escondido, California at Lawrence Welk Drive and Gopher Canyon. The interstate was closed in both directions for a while as firefighters worked to stop the blaze.

Helitanker 729
Helitanker 729 on the Gopher Fire

Photos of air tankers on the Goose Fire

Above: Air Tanker 66, a DC-7

These photos were taken by Bob Martinez, a Volunteer in Prevention Photographer with CAL FIRE. They were taken on the Goose Fire near Prather, California, about 18 miles northeast of Fresno. Thanks Bob!

The Goose Fire has burned 2,241 acres and 4 homes and is approaching containment.

air tanker 76
Air tanker 76, an S2-T
air tanker 132
Air tanker 132, an L-382G
air tanker 83
Air tanker 83, an S2-T
air tanker 40
Air tanker 40, a BAe-146

DC-10 and a BAe-146 drop on the Sobranes Fire

Above, Neptune’s Tanker 12, a BAe-146, drops on the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur, California. Credit for the video: Eric Tebbets, Captain, CALFIRE, Cuesta Camp Fire Crews.

Next, one of 10 Tanker’s DC-10’s drops on the fire.

Click on the arrows at the bottom-right to see it in full-screen.

California man arrested for flying drone over the Trailhead Fire

The drone forced the grounding of firefighting aircraft.

Officers with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection arrested a Placer County man Friday who allegedly interfered with firefighting operations recently on the Trailhead Fire by flying a drone over the fire, forcing fire managers to ground aircraft rather than risk a collision.

Information posted on social media helped lead law enforcement officers to Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill. He was arrested Friday afternoon, booked into the Placer County jail in Auburn and charged with interfering with firefighting operations. This is the first arrest by CAL FIRE law enforcement of a drone operator for interfering with firefighting.

Chief of CAL FIRE Ken Pimlott sent out a Tweet Friday night saying, “We will seek to prosecute those who put the public and our firefighters in peril with irresponsible use of drones.”

Mr. Wamser’s alleged actions delayed aerial firefighting on a fire burning in the steep canyon along the Middle Fork of the American River near Todd Valley. The Trailhead Fire started June 28 and is now 98 percent contained, according to CAL FIRE. It burned more than 5,600 acres and forced hundreds of residents of Placer and El Dorado counties to evacuate.

“The Trailhead Fire was burning in such a remote area that our aircraft were critical to stopping the fire,” said Chief George Morris III, CAL FIRE’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit chief. “Every minute we couldn’t fly our aircraft because of this drone, the fire was able to grow and do more damage.”