[Supv. Antonovich] – In preparation for fire season in Southern California, a pair of Super Scooper firefighting aircraft leased from Québec, Canada, and a Helitanker leased from Erickson Air-Crane are now in service in Los Angeles County.
“When the Santa Ana winds begin to blow across the region, wildfires can become deadly, as we have seen in previous extreme fire seasons,” said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. “The Super Scoopers and the Helitanker provide a ‘one-two punch’ in addition to County Fire’s own aerial fleet – powerful tools to protect life and property.”
At the direction of Supervisor Antonovich, the Los Angeles County Fire Department began leasing the Super Scoopers from the Government of Quebec in 1994 and the Helitanker in 2007. The fixed wing super-scoopers are contracted for 90 days at a cost of $2.75 million.
Capable of carrying up to 1,620 gallons of water, Super Scoopers can also scoop water from a lake in only 12 seconds, be airborne in as little as five minutes and fly three hours before refueling. The Erickson Air-Crane Type I Helitanker is capable of delivering 2,500 gallons per drop.