LA County Renews Nearly $14M Lease Of Air Tankers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has renewed a nearly $14 million contract to lease two water-dropping aircraft from Canada to help fight wildfires.

The five-year lease allows county firefighters to call on two SuperScooper planes from Quebec as needed. The county would incur operational expenses only if the equipment is requested.

The Bombardier CL-415 aircraft are built to land on unpaved runways, lakes or river. They take only 12 seconds to load more than 1,600 gallons of water.

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  • Noel Rude

    I read your article on 7/19/11 regarding the LA County’s contract for 2 CL-415 aircraft at a cost of $2.75 million per season.

    Would you be surprised if I told you we could offer the same service with comparable U.S. aircraft for less than half the cost being paid to a Canadian operator?

    The Department of Interior created requirements to eliminate certain aircraft from contracts. However the aircraft they use do not meet the very criteria used to eliminate other aircraft, making their criteria nothing more than a restraint of trade. I have pushed this issue in California, Washington and Alaska and involved Senators and Congressman. The States are powerless to deal with the Federal Agencies and the Senators and Congressman don’t want to get involved. Sound fishy? It is! Unfortunately, until someone with a voice is willing to bring the issue to light, the Department of Interior and US Forest Service will continue to mismanage the available resources and the taxpayers will continue to pay for their incompetence.

    I would be happy to provide corroborating correspondence and additional detailed information.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

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