Erickson Incorporated, a global aviation services company that provides comprehensive lift, placement, transport and logistics aviation services has renewed national wildland fire suppression contracts with the United States Forest Service and other municipalities.
Globally, Erickson has maintained operations in Greece, Turkey and Australia. These agreements demonstrate Erickson’s continued commitment to provide the most effective aerial fire suppression available anywhere in the world.
As the 2015 US wildfire season intensifies, especially in the drought-stricken states of Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Alaska and California, Erickson is prepared to aggressively deploy aircraft and crews wherever needed. Erickson has a long standing history of having one of the highest operational readiness rates in the industry and remains committed to quickly responding to preserve life and property wherever needed.
Erickson is the premier choice of fire managers world-wide. The company has contracted with the US Forest Service for 34 consecutive years and has been setting the industry standard for safety, effectiveness and customer satisfaction for the past 25 years.
“Erickson has geared up its fire crews and equipment to meet the challenges that the 2015 fire season may bring," said Vice President of Commercial Aviation Andrew Mills. "At the peak of the US fire season, Erickson will have 12 dedicated Aircranes protecting lives and homes throughout North America, from southern California to Alaska. We take this mission very seriously, and we maintain 24/7 operations in support of our fleet as they respond to wildfires from now through November."
The company has invented specialty fire suppression equipment designed to make the Aircrane the primary aircraft of choice for wildfire suppression and increased wildland-urban interface. Erickson’s S-64 Aircrane is fitted with a 2,500 gallon tank capable of snorkeling or scooping fresh or salt water from sources as shallow as 18 inches with a fill rate of less than a minute.
The tank also has internal foam mixing capabilities, and can dispense water or retardant from an attached water cannon at a rate of 300 gallons per minute. Not only does Erickson have the water cannon capability, but we also have the ability to open the tank doors to deploy all 2,500 gallons in a precision water drop.
These proprietary engineering improvements, designed by Erickson, give the Aircrane the advantage when suppressing fire in the wildland-urban interface, where homes and businesses are often threatened. In addition, the Aircrane is able to provide close support and increased safety for ground-based firefighters who depend on aerial suppression for initial attack. Although the retrofitted Aircrane is already the preferred choice for aerial suppression, Erickson continues to develop and integrate new technologies that will make fire suppression even more effective.
Erickson’s ability to economically deliver more water and retardant than any other kind of aircraft, combined with the expertise and experience of pilots and crew, make the Aircrane the preferred mode of aerial suppression. The Erickson S-64 Aircrane can be positioned close to the fire’s edge, snorkeling water from nearby ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. If water is not available close by, water can be trucked in and held in large pumpkin-shaped tanks to be snorkeled out by our expert pilots. Since we can operate closer to the fire, this gives us a decided advantage over fixed wing aircraft that must return to an airport to reload.