Columbia Helicopters is responding to the sudden surge in fires across the western United States with four heavy-lift helicopters deployed to fires. This includes two aircraft assigned to the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs, CO.
The company also has a helicopter working on a fire near Santa Fe, NM, as well as one near Price, UT. Columbia's fleet of heavy-lift helicopters are routinely used throughout the United States during fire season, assisting ground crews in the suppression of wildland fires.
The two aircraft working the fire in Colorado and the one in Utah are Columbia 107-II helicopters, each with a lifting capacity of approximately 10,000-pounds. These aircraft are equipped with an 1,100 gallon SEI Torrentula Bambi Bucket with Powerfill system, which the pilots can use to drop water or retardant on the fire. Strung 200-feet beflow the helicopter, these buckets can draw from tree-lined streams or ponds with sources as shallow as 18-inches.
The helicopter in New Mexico is a Columbia Model 234 Chinook, which carries a 2,650-gallon SEI Torrentula Bambi Bucket, which is also equipped with the Powerfill system.