Friday, 10 July 2020

Boggs Mountain Helitack training set for June 1 to 6

Cal Fire Copter 104. Photo courtesy of Cal Fire.

COBB, Calif. – Cobb residents should not be concerned to see the local Cal Fire helicopter flying from June 1 to June 6.

Starting Monday, June 1, Boggs Mountain Helitack Base will be conducting training exercises to ready firefighters for the upcoming fire season as Cal Fire begins to up staff.

Copter 104, stationed at Boggs Mountain, was manufactured by Bell Helicopters of Fort Worth, Texas.

The U.S. Army owned UH-1H helicopters from 1963 to 1975. The UH-1H was used as a troop and cargo transport and specialized operations.

In 1981, Cal Fire acquired 12 UH-1F helicopters from the Air Force. They were modified for firefighting and used by Cal Fire until 1990 when they were replaced by newer, highly modified, Vietnam-era UH-1H helicopters.

Referred to as the “Super Huey,” Cal Fire has 12 available statewide, with two stationed in Sacramento for maintenance relief.

Cal Fire uses the Super Hueys for fast initial attack on wildfires. The copters are able to quickly deliver a nine-person fire crew wherever needed as well as battle fires with water/foam drops.

The copters are also used for medical evacuations, backfiring operations on wildland fires, to ignite prescribed burns using either a helitorch or a ping-pong ball machine-chemical ignition device system, cargo transport (internal and external loads), reseeding operations, infrared mapping of incidents, and numerous non-fire emergency missions.

Since 1997, Cal Fire helicopter crews have been trained to do “short-haul” rescues. Short-haul involves a crew member being lowered from a hovering helicopter to an injured or trapped person below. Once hooked to a harness or basket, both the victim and crew member are then carried a short distance to safety.

The crew consists of one pilot, two fire captains and eight firefighters.

The payload is 324 gallons of water with bucket operations, with a gross weight of 10,500 pounds and cruise speed of 126 miles per hour. It has a range of 250 miles, endurance of two hours, rotor diameter of 48 feet and Turbine Lycoming T-53-703 engines.

To find out what you can do to be ready for wildfire visit http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Get-Ready/ .

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