County to consider extending SuperScooper contract

FILE PHOTO: Super scooper Quebec 2 smothers the brush fire off Lake Hughes Road and Ridge Route Road in Castiac with thousands of gallons of water on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. Ryan Painter/The Signal.

With fires blazing across Los Angeles County and other parts of Southern California, the SuperScoopers are being put to use while they are on loan from Canada.

The contract to lease the two firefighting planes from Quebec was up on Nov. 30, but was extended until Dec. 15.

If there is still a need for them, the County of Los Angeles Fire Department will request a further extension at the Dec. 12 board meeting, according to Tony Bell, Communications Deputy for Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

“The Fire Department has to come to us and say, ‘we want the contract extended,’” Bell said. “At that time, the Board of Supervisors will take that up to allocate the additional resources.”

Typically, the planes would be released after there is “measurable rainfall,” according to Fire Chief Daryl Osby in a letter to the Board of Supervisors.

As of the letter written on Nov. 30, Osby said both the Santa Clarita Valley and Malibu had not had significant rainfall and live fuel moistures were at “critical levels.”

In addition to the current fire conditions, the department will evaluate weather patterns, precipitation and live fuel moistures, Osby said.

A super scooper works to extinguish the Rye Fire in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS