During our hot Northern California summers here, Horizon Helicopters contracts out to USFS, BLM, and our state’s forestry department — CDF, for fire suppression. California commonly has quite a busy fire season, and much of that is in the foothills of the Sierra. During a busy summer, it is not uncommon to work throughout a few of the other western states too.
Our fire capabilities include water and foam dropping, crew transportation, reconnaissance, Infrared hot-spot locating, GPS/GIS mapping, and firing operations with the use of aerial-ignition equipment. The fires bring some of the most exciting flying.
Aircraft we currently use for fire work include the Bell 206 Jetranger, and the Bell UH-1 (Huey). The Jetranger can carry up to four passengers or up to about 1,000 pounds of cargo or water. The UH-1 can carry up to 3,500+ pounds of cargo or water.