ALTADENA (AP) — If another wildfire strikes the Angeles National Forest, it will be easier to get water-dropping helicopters into the air at night to slow the blaze.

That’s what U.S. Forest Service officials say, as the agency faces pressure to avoid a repeat of the 2009 Station Fire that burned 250 square miles, killed two firefighters and destroyed 89 homes.

Deputy Forest Supervisor Marty Dumpis said Thursday an agreement with local firefighters will make it easier to summon Los Angeles County helicopters for night firefighting in the huge forest on the edge of Los Angeles.

The Forest Service is considering allowing its own helicopters to attack wildfires at night, but the agency has long discouraged the practice because of risks to pilots. That policy is under review.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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