Our Aerial Fire Fighting Strategy Isn’t Working
In California we use aerial firefighting assets often, mostly due to the terrain, getting to places where we cannot get in ground based firefighting assets or it’s just too risky to do so. Still, our aerial fire-fighting strategies leave a lot to be desired. Even the Interagency Mutual Assistance HQ in Boise ID would agree.
You see, prop driven aircraft coming out of WY, or sitting at Fox Field waiting for instructions and clearance to come help or day break, isn’t going to get it done. And although it has been what we’ve done in the past it’s not good enough. You are better off with local county helicopters close and ready to rock at a moment’s notice during fire season in that case, and the backup of the Air National Guard with the big guns, then perhaps even the jumbo jets with massive fire power.
Still the real reality is, and no one really wants to address it is that all this aerial firefighting in the past, well, we are almost better off without them most of the time, as most often they put on a great “air show” but in reality miss drops, take too long to re-fill, and don’t really do as much good as people think, plus, they cost a lot of money to operate and that is taxpayer’s dollars. Perhaps, money that could be better spent with bulldozers clearing buffer areas, or public awareness programs, arson watches, and such.
Heck, I cannot believe I am so critical of all this, because I am a pilot, it’s just that what we are doing with aerial firefighting often is not working very well. The public wants to know; “Where are the planes to save us!” but those aircraft can’t save them, they are only one component, and this is why the technology must advance along with the agility and versatility in fighting these wild fires; it is essential. Speed, logistics, time, and agility; much like the OODA loop, Colonel Boyd was right. Please consider all this.
Lance Winslow is a retired franchisor – Lance Winslow’s Bio. Lance Winslow is formerly the CEO of WashGuys family of franchises for instance one of Lance Winslow’s favorite companies on the team; http://www.windowwashguys.com/links.shtml.
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