State of Texas

Integrated Aerial Firefighting Solutions

Overview

Wildfires are burning hotter and more aggressively every year. They drain resources, destroy the land, and the extreme temperatures and smoke they create pose a significant risk to public health.

Aerial firefighting is a critical component of wildland fire suppression. Our method is effective because it utilizes water-dropping aircraft to attack the flames directly and suppress the fire early on. Response time is critical, and our working together will help us keep the fires threatening your state under control.

The Need for a Response

This increased fire threat has resulted in a nationwide scramble to reinforce firefighting resources. Rapid local dispatch of federally contracted and approved aircraft is incredibly challenging for states who want to protect their citizens, properties, and land.

Many States are taking steps gain control of the situation and provide the services their people require. State-level aerial firefighting agreements are becoming more common to attack fires quickly, keep their people safe, and remain cost-efficient.

The Problem

Any state can request our aircraft on a state fire through the existing US Forest Service (USFS) or Department of Interior (DOI) contracts if they declare an emergency or fire threatens federal land. However, using the federal dispatch system makes it difficult to quickly transfer an aircraft from one agency contract to another.

Contracting with us directly means that our crews can hit the fire early on and protect your state.

What We Can Offer

We have 3 contract options:

  • Call When Needed: No guaranteed minimum usage by the customer. They call us when needed.
  • Exclusive Use: The customer guarantees a minimum number of days of availability and/or flight hours. These periods can be negotiated in 30-day up to 120-day increments. Rates directly correlate to the number of guaranteed days/flight hours and decrease accordingly.
  • Hybrid (CWN/Exclusive Use): Essentially, this is a Call When Needed agreement that provides options for Exclusive Use by requesting a quote for a Mandatory Availability Period (MAP).

If BA was under an existing Exclusive Use contract with your state, and you already had Cooperative Agreements with other states and/or agencies in place, you could send us to support those state/agencies utilizing your existing contract. If there was a Call When Needed in place, we could discuss using that to help a cooperative partner as well.

Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, California, and Minnesota have all secured Call When Needed aerial firefighting contracts with BA to protect their lands and people.

Why Contract With Us?

Individual states have the authorization to fight fires that occur on federal land if it is deemed that those fires pose a direct threat to citizens, property, or state/county resources.

The key in suppressing any wildland fire is an early and aggressive response. Sending in the full force of the Super Scoopers before thousands of acres have burned can greatly restrain fire growth.

If, however, the Scoopers are in a different state on a federal contract, it would take significantly more time to dispatch a team to a fire in your state.

This can give the fire time to grow, mandate evacuations, destroy property, and endanger lives. 

Economic and Financial Impact

The taxpayer cost of funding evacuations and a campaign fire that persists for weeks or months is immense.

In comparison, utilizing an aerial firefighting task force for early fire-suppression is far more cost-effective.

Utilize On-Call Aircraft

A state can contract a fleet of aircraft that will reside within that state solely to respond to its fires under the control of the state’s exclusive use agreements.

With an exclusive-use contract, we would relocate to a place in your state best suited to be near high fire activity.

Contract Advantages

Combining Air Attack and Scooper aircraft under one contract will provide the following advantages:

  • Availability of Air Attack platforms to carry relevant personnel to perform aerial reconnaissance and supervision.
  • Ease of contracting, consistent aircraft livery and maintenance standards, and data sharing across the fleet.

And, when you don’t need them, our aircraft can be rolled over to the inter-agency dispatch pool to support federal incidents.

Initial/Direct Attack

  • First, our amphibious CL-415EAF Super Scooper platform (typically flown in pairs and ideal for rapid-fire suppression) is the only purpose-built aerial firefighting aircraft in the world.
  • Second, our Initial and Direct Attack method is so effective because we aggressively attack the head of the fire with water instead of using chemical retardant.
    • (Retardant attempts to create a barrier that will hopefully slow the fire’s rate of spread, whereas we hit the fire directly.)
  • Third, we use local water sources. This means the Scoopers can repeatedly attack the head of the fire in rapid succession with up to 1,412 gallons of water per drop without having to return to an airport to reload. By skimming across the water, they can pick up a full load in just 12 seconds.
  • Depending upon the proximity of the water source to the fire, these aircraft can consistently make over 60 drops a day (more than 84,000 gallons of water).
  • That’s efficiency.

Air Attack

  • Our Air Attack platforms (Twin Commander AC-690s, Daher Kodiak 100s, and Pilatus PC-12) will control the airspace over a fire to handle the mission as safely and effectively as possible.
  • The AA platform is a Type 1 Air Attack platform that includes 3‒FM Radios, 3‒AM Radios, Air Conditioning, and a Trainer Package.

Maintenance/Parts Transportation

The mission always comes first. When aircraft parts are needed, our resource aircraft manage the deliveries to ensure that our aircraft are always ready to fly.

Conclusion

Our aircraft are designed to save lives and property, and together, we can be prepared not only for the 2022 fire season but also for the future.