MP Suggests Island-Based ‘Air Force’ for Fighting Wildfires

The MP for Courtenay-Alberni wants the federal government to work with a local company to build a firefighting air force.

Gord Johns recently wrote a letter to Harjit Sajjan, the federal minister responsible for Pacific Economic Development. Johns says Port Alberni-based Coulson Aviation could be involved in creating a “Quick Reaction Force,” similar to the model the company uses in California.

The MP says company president and CEO Wayne Coulson reached out to him recently to discuss the company’s international experience, and pitch the reaction force concept.

Coulson, best-known for operating the Martin Mars water bombers in BC in decades past, is now an international company that fights fires in Canada, the USA, Australia, and South America. The company has 500 employees internationally and 200 on the Island.

Johns says Coulson’s record speaks for itself. The company has been operating for five years in the LA Basin, and put out a record 180 fires in less than 12 hours, with not one structure lost.

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AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Magazine strives to provide you with breaking aerial firefighting industry news and information.

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