Erickson Incorporated has renewed aviation contracts with the U.S. Forest Service and Helifor Canada to fight North American fires in 2015, the company announced in a release on Tuesday.
The company has contracted multiple S-64 Aircranes for exclusive use for the U.S. Forest Service. Erickson will also work with Helifor on year-round timber harvest work in British Columbia until the end of 2015.
The two planes, equipped with Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS), were deployed from the 153rd Airlift Wing of the Wyoming Air National Guard in Cheyenne. The portable retardant units loaded onto the C-130s can carry up to 3,000 gallons of retardant. They can discharge their entire load in a matter of seconds.
A helicopter carrying a sling-load crashed while working near the Destoya Fire in Nevada last week, the Bureau of Land Management said Monday.
The aircraft was working on a contractual basis for the BLM, when it had an accident near the fire on July 3. The pilot walked away with no injuries, and the crash is being investigated by the Office of Aircraft Services, said Randy Eardley with the BLM.
Eardley did not know what specifically caused the accident, nor did he know the name of the company on contract.
The BLM office in Elko, Nevada, in the state’s northwestern corner, is coordinating the fire effort.