Billings Flying Service Wins First-Ever Type 1 Exclusive Use Contract with Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

BILLINGS, MONTANA (July 2, 2024): Montana-based Billings Flying Service (BFS) is pleased to announce it won Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s first exclusive use type 1 helicopter firefighting contract. BFS is providing a tanked CH-47 Chinook helicopter with high-volume precision water drop capability for the summer fire season contract, which started July 1. The aircraft will be based in Montana, however, could be mobilized to surrounding states under a cooperative agreement in place between the US Forest Service and State of Montana.

“As fellow Montanans, our BFS team is particularly honored to support the state’s wildfire preparedness objectives this summer,” said BFS Director of Business Development Katrina Miller. “The CH-47 Chinook’s fire suppression capability is second to none. By contracting this helicopter for exclusive use, the state has secured an asset to work solely for its use at a moment’s notice this season and will have the capability to dispatch initial attack missions as soon as a fire is identified.”

When a wildfire starts, two things are imperative to keep it from expanding: rapid response and precise large water volume drops. By rapidly delivering up to 2,500 gallons per drop with precision at the first signs of a fire, the Chinook gives the state a considerable upper hand in controlling fires before they become serious threats to life and property.

“Montana DNRC prides itself on safe and aggressive initial attack to keep wildfires small, and firefighters and the public safe,” said Deputy State Forester and DNRC Forestry and Trust Lands Deputy Division Administrator Wyatt Frampton. “The addition of this helicopter is made possible through funding from the legislature and will complement our response capabilities to increase the level of service we provide to Montanans.”

Funding for the contract comes from Montana’s House Bill 883, passed last year. The bill allows state lawmakers to roll unused fire suppression fund monies forward for wildfire preparedness activities, including securing helicopter support.

About Billings Flying Service

Celebrating 40 years in 2023, Billings Flying Service (BFS) is a heavy lift helicopter solutions provider specializing the in CH-47 Chinook operations in aerial firefighting, utility, and construction. BFS owns and operates a FAA 145, AS9110, and Boeing-certified maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility for the CH-47 Chinook, and an authorized Honeywell CH-46, 234, CH-47D and CH-47D+ Flight Control Systems (FCS) Repair Station, both of which support the BFS Chinook fleet, commercial CH-47 customers, the United States military, and foreign militaries. For more information please visit

AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
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