LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County has leased two additional SuperScooper firefighting aircraft from Canada as a precaution in case of fall wildfires in Southern California.
A statement from the office of county Supervisor Michael Antonovich says the additional CL-415s will augment two other SuperScoopers already leased from the government of Quebec. The extra planes are due to arrive on Oct. 9.
SuperScoopers are twin-engine water-dropping aircraft that reload by skimming the surface of lakes, scooping up 1,620 gallons in seconds.
Historically, fall brings high fire danger to Southern California because of seasonal Santa Ana winds. Four years of drought have further heightened the flammability of brush.
All four SuperScoopers could be returned to Canada as early as November if the El Nino ocean-warming phenomenon brings early and significant rainfall to the region.
For years, SKY9’s Stu Mundel has been giving viewers an aerial look at the firefight, and he’s seen these SuperScoopers in action.
“It’s just amazing. It’s just an overwhelming sense of wow! The power that this machine can make and the ability that it has to put out so much fire..” Mundel said.
Firefighters fear that this month could be bad because of the current drought conditions, mandatory water restrictions, and the Santa Ana Winds.
The board of supervisors approved the leasing of two more planes because of the severe conditions and the possibility of a devastating wildfire.
These SuperScoopers will be here until November 30th, but the lease can be extended if needed.
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