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What Does Air Attack Do Over A Wildfire?

CENTRAL SIERRA – With the ominous threat of the Detwiler Fire, attention to wildland firefighting has been heightened for many residents in the foothills and mountain area.

We all see the engines, dozers, water tenders and crews rolling in to fight these fires, but perhaps the most spectacular sight from any vantage point the public may have is the work of the air resources.

One may wonder just how this is all coordinated, who decides where retardant drops are released and who is controlling all the air traffic, from helicopters to air tankers. Those listening to this unfold on the scanner will hear Air Attack directing all air operations.

The phrase “Air Attack” may lead some to believe that this plane is actually attacking the fire with some sort of water or retardant drop. Not so – the Air Attack plane is orchestrating how the other aircraft involved are doing their jobs.

They are also advising the ground resources about how the fire looks from the air, any spot fires that may spark, the size and direction, and any other information helpful to the suppression efforts. And they are cool, calm and collected.

Bill Gabbert has posted a video using aerial footage, graphics, and narration to explain what Air Attack does on a wildfire, along with the use of fixed wing aircraft in fire suppression and management. It’s a fascinating and very educational video for anyone wanting to learn more about the use of aircraft in wildland fire suppression.

The entry was posted in Fixed wing and is available for viewing at http://fireaviation.com/2012/11/23/video-what-air-attack-does-on-a-wildfire/

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Sierra News Online

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