The aircraft has a water capacity of 2,650 gallons, and will be operated alongside the organization’s existing fleet of Bell 205 helicopters. The aircraft is being provided on an exclusive use contract basis, to respond as needed.
Speaking to the Times of San Diego, Jeff Collins, San Diego County Fire’s Director, said: “The new Type 1 helicopter significantly bolsters our local air attack arsenal. It can drop about seven times as much water as the existing county firefighting helicopters.”
The region is now served by nine firefighting helicopters, as well as three fixed-wing aircraft, provided by Cal Fire, the US Forest Service, the city of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, and local governments.Bottom of Form
California has become a high risk area for severe wildfires, due to a combination of hot weather and a high risk of drought.