San Diego County’s First ‘Heli-Hydrant’ Ready For Duty As Wildfire Season Peak Approaches

    Just in time for the peak of wildfire season, San Diego County’s first heli-hydrant is now accessible to the region’s fleet of fire-fighting helicopters to help combat wildfires.

    This new 5,000-gallon water tank can be continuously refilled and remotely controlled by a helicopter pilot, just the way fire trucks hook up to hydrants on the street.

    It takes approximately five minutes to fill a helicopter tank from empty.

    North County Fire Protection District Chief Keith McReynolds says there are a lot of devastating wildfires in this region. His district partnered with the Rainbow Municipal Water Department and CAL FIRE San Diego to build the heli-hydrant.

    “To have a dedicated water source like this, a water resource is incredibly valuable and we certainly will be using it, hopefully not too soon, but I’m sure it will eventually see some use,” McReynolds said.

    RELATED: Technology Has Growing Role In Corralling US West Wildfires

    This partnership is known as the Rapid Aerial Water Supply system. It’s designed to proactively combat wildfires and protect life and property.

    Read more on this story at KPBS

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