Night flying fire suppression drill scheduled in California

The Kern County Fire Department in Bakersfield, California will be hosting a night flying and night vision goggles (NVG) fire suppression drill on June 5. The Department recently distributed the following information. It is interesting in that it will involve not only night flying helicopters, but also crews, engines, and dozers.


“On June 5, 2014 the Kern County Fire Department will be hosting the Southern California Interagency NVG Fire Suppression Drill in the Greater Tehachapi area. Kern County Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Los Angeles City Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire/Sheriff, and the US Forest Service will participate in the drill with their aircraft.

The drill will begin at 2:00 PM with aircraft arriving at the East Ramp of Tehachapi Municipal Airport, the Drill Helibase. The airport east ramp will be closed to other aircraft and access will be limited to drill participants, Fire Service observers, and support staff only.

The Drill In-briefing will commence at 3:00 PM, following the brief aircraft will conduct area familiarization flights during daylight and return to the Helibase where dinner will be provided at 18:00. NVG Fire suppression operations will commence at approximately 8:45 PM, concluding at approximately 1:00 AM on June 6th. Fire suppression apparatus, including crews, engines, and dozers will be stationed at the burn site on Cummings Ranch.

Helicopters will depart the Helibase on order from the HLCO, proceed to the Tank-Fill site near Brite Lake, take on water and commence water-drop operations by flying circuits from the Tank-Fill site to the fire site on Cummings Ranch. Aircraft will complete as many evolutions as required for each pilot to demonstrate proficiency in night water drop operations. Additionally, Fire Crews will have the opportunity to work with night water-dropping helicopters to practice, train, and develop night water-drop coordination procedures (Identification, Communication, Feedback, etc.).

Aerial Supervision will be provided by the USFS Night Air Attack airplane and Kern County Fire NVG HLCO.”


4 thoughts on “Night flying fire suppression drill scheduled in California”

  1. One of the things that use to scare the heck out of me during night agricultural flying was when two ag planes were on the air strip (dusty road) with the sounds of two ‘barking” 600 H.P. radials at idle the ground crew had to move around the aircraft (s) with minimum lighting. The crew had to be particularly careful of looking at one aircraft and walking into the prop of another. Probably the same could hold true for tail rotors.

  2. Yep Johnny

    Tail rotors and night maintenance ( not necessarily fire), main rotors and night maintenance, flight idle stop adjustments UH 1 Huey hellholes on cold winter nights on the ramp or some snow bank during Army missions or some East Jababie location in Central America

    Yep nights are FUUUUUUUN!!!!!!

  3. I have flown many times with Kern County at night, and you won’t meet finer pilots than Pat and Scott. The flight crew and maintenance folks have a lot to be proud of. Hope everyone has a safe and productive session. I may even drive up to watch for a bit.

  4. Attended the drill, very impressive and well executed, with a large turn out of agencies. Sorry, forgot the camera at home, but the local news ran several stories. When I left at 2300 hrs, the humidity was preventing lighting any more fire, but the copters where still up. Also, a trial was done by KCFD with NVG in a dozer cutting line at night. Curious to hear those opinions.

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