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CAL Fire Debuted New Night Flying Strategy On Electra Fire

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Jackson, CA — The Electra Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties is historic in that CAL Fire completed its first-ever night flying operation with its “CAL Fire Hawk” helicopter.

California is the first state to implement night firefighting operations. The state acquired twelve S70i helicopters (CAL Fire Hawks) in 2018 and they are available throughout the fire season. They replaced 12 aging Super Huey helicopters. The Electra Fire was the initial time that one was used at night to help suppress a fire (this past Thursday).

Governor Gavin Newsom’s office highlighted the achievement, noting, “The S70i Fire Hawk helicopter night flying capabilities include fire suppression drops using fixed tanks, aerial supervision, emergency hoist and rescue operations. Night flying helps provide fire crews another important tool in the toolbox of fire suppression options available.”

It requires the right conditions, when it comes to smoke and visibility, to conduct a nighttime air operation. The helicopter has a fixed tank that can drop up to 1,000 gallons of water/foam.

We reported earlier that the Electra Fire is 4,478 acres and 85 percent contained. The forward progress has been stopped.

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