Los Angeles County officials have welcomed the annual arrival of “Super Scooper” firefighting airplanes from Canada ahead of the fall fire season in Southern California, when Santa Ana winds can whip small fires into disasters.
It’s the 25th year that the county has leased two big CL-415 water bombers from the government of Quebec.
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Wednesday’s annual event at Van Nuys Airport was held later than usual this year because of fires occurring in Quebec.
Fire Chief Daryl Osby emphasized the toll drought has taken on California vegetation, noting that last year’s Thomas Fire became the largest in state history, only to be dwarfed by this year’s Mendocino Complex fires.
The county has also brought in a huge Erickson Helitanker to bolster its helicopter fleet.