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SuperScoopers to return during 2008 fire season

Posted: June 27, 2008 2:04 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2008 5:01 a.m.

A SuperScooper soars off after a water drop during the October Buckweed fire near Acton. Los Angeles County has renewed a contract with Canada to use two of the planes during wildfires.

 
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has renewed a contract with Canada for two firefighting SuperScooper airplanes during this year's fire season, an official announced today.

"To continue our preparation for another severe fire season, these vital aircraft have been requested earlier in the season to supplement our county-owned water-dropping helicopters," Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said in a prepared release.

The CL-415 SuperScoopers carry up to 1,620 gallons of water and can scoop water from a lake in just 12 seconds, Antonovich said. The water is then injected with fire-resistant foam, making it three times more effective than water alone.

The fixed-wing aircraft can be airborne in as little as five minutes and fly three hours before refueling.

The county also leased an Erickson Aircrane Type I helitanker for the 2008 fire season, according to Antonovich. It is capable of delivering 2,200 gallons per drop.

The SuperScoopers and helitanker are leased from the government of Quebec and will be stationed at Van Nuys Airport. They are expected to arrive there Sept. 1 and depart when the contract expires Dec. 31, 2008.

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