‘Different Tool in the Toolbox’: How Aircraft Dampen Fire Growth

    ELMO – Residents, firefighters, tourists and rubberneckers on the west shore of Flathead Lake this past week may have noticed something unusual in the air.

    There is, of course, the massive plume of lung-choking smoke rising from the fast-growing Elmo 2 fire. But flying in formation through that smoke were up to six purpose-built firefighting planes rarely deployed in the U.S., and never deployed in such numbers to the same incident in Montana. The most conspicuous of the fleet are the four yellow-and-red “Super Scoopers” operated by Belgrade-based Bridger Aerospace. Clocking in at $30 million each, the four planes were joined by two nearly identical aircraft operated by Spokane’s Aero-Flite.

    Read more on this story at The Missoulian

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