Operations

2016 summary: The 2016 season had a completely different feel from the 2015 season. Started off with a few small on-forest lightning fires then rolled into a classic early season So-Cal assignment near the San Gabriel reservoir. It was consistently busy following that first roll, with more fires/ cover assignments and a month long trip to Nevada/ Utah. All the while we were able to get out 7 crew members on single resource assignments. Temps were laid off Oct 28th and the permanents spent Thanksgiving staffing our aircraft in Robbinsville, North Carolina.

All in all it was a busy year and we realized that less flight hours doesn't always mean a slower year. It was a year of new faces, movement, travel and some good ol' fashioned firefighting with Baker as (detailed) Supt-512. Completed task-books this year included: DIVS, HEB2, CRWB, HMGB, ICT5, HECM, ABRO and FFT1.

Flight Hours: 198
Days committed: 89
Initial Attack fire: 25
Large Fire Assignments: 6
Completed task books this year included: DIVS, HEB1, HMGB,  ICT5, HECM,  ABRO,  TOLC.





2015 Summary: We kicked off 2015 with a bang, hitting a dozen fires within the first week of the contract and things kept at about the same pace as the season progressed. We spent a bit of time on the Plumas, the Mendocino, the Shasta and the Six Rivers, with a fair amount of Cal Fire DPA assists. In total we responded to more than 60 fires, the vast majority of which were initial attacks. Good crew, good assignments, busy year... who could complain? The end of the contract drug on somewhat, with the helicopter and crew making all the way through Halloween.

We were a bit short-handed with the way hiring shook out, which excluded the possibility of sending folks out single resource. Completed task-books this year included: ICT4, ICT5, HECM, ABRO and FFT1.

Overall, one of the busier years in recent memory, an eager and competitive crew with lots of overtime!



Flight Hours: 307

Days Committed: 96
Initial Attack Fires: 59
Large Fire Assignments: 1



2014 Summary: 2014 was off to a strange start, as part of our facility was burned down over the winter in a freak electrical fire. But... we were able to replace most of what was lost, and ended up with the strongest crew we've had in some time! Our initial attack load was light out of the gate, with only a handful of fire assignments up to mid-June. The latter part of June and into early July, however, provided a decent lightning bust on the forest. From there we got a cover assignment in Nevada, working multiple lightning fires from Ely to Cold Springs. Next, we got assigned to the Lodge fire near Willits which mostly consisted of helibase work, with one critical medevac. We were reassigned from the Lodge to cover the Six Rivers/Klamath from Willow Creek; a couple days of R&R, then back to Klamath country on the July Complex, followed by the Happy Complex. We kept good and busy on these fires, getting everyone out on the hill staffing remote helispots, running cargo, personnel and the ABRO platform at the helibase, and doing plenty of good-old-fashioned firefighting while we were at it. To cap off the season we initial-attacked the Applegate fire near Auburn, and got a week of good work there. 

Throughout all of the above, we had multiple folks out on various single resource assignments, including DIVS, CRWB, ICT4, HMGB, HEQB, HECM, ABRO and FFT1.

All in all, despite the slow start, we had a productive summer, a fit and motivated crew, and plenty of valuable experience.


Flight Hours: 135.2

Days Committed: 58
Initial Attack Fires: 32
Large Fire Assignments: 4

Taskbooks Completed:  4 HECM, 2 FFT1, 1 ICT5, 1 ABRO, 1 HEQB



2013 Summary: 2013 had a slightly early start with high fire danger locally necessitating bringing on an additional helicopter. Thus, we ended up hosting a Kachina Aviation Bell 205 for about two weeks the month prior to the regular contract start. Our exclusive use helicopter officially went on contract on June 7 this year and we had our first dispatch three days later. From there we were reassigned two days later to the Mendocino NF. There the crew provided helibase support as well as a ground crew module to work the fire. The crew was released from the MNF in time make the annual Father’s Day Fly In at Gansner Field in Quincy. After a meet and greet with the public, 512 was ordered up once again, this time for an incident just north of here on the Lassen NF. After this initial flurry of activity the crew settled into  a nice pattern for the next several weeks responding to numerous local IAs and smoke reports. This time also included a few more brief off forest assignments with trips to the Eldorado NF, the Lassen NF and various state land. By August 1 the helicopter had logged approximately 70 hours of flight time. We also received our first big off forest assignment, departing to the Six Rivers NF to support the Butler incident. The crew remained on the Butler fire for the next three weeks rotating crew members home periodically for R&R. On the 20th of August the crew was requested directly from the Butler incident to the Lassen for IA work associated with a storm system that had come through. After working multiple fires over a period of two days the helicopter was reassigned locally to the Hough Complex for several days before being reassigned to the Modoc NF to assist with a lightning bust on that forest. After a week’s work on the MDF the helicopter and crew were briefly reassigned to the Hough Complex again before once again being sent off forest to the Six Rivers NF to assist with the Corral Complex. After a week there we were back to Quincy and local IA work. During this time we assisted the recreation department by flying several bear proof food boxes into a remote OHV campsite. By the end of September with it looking like the fire season was just about wrapped up we got our final assignment: the San Bernardino NF for coverage/prepositioning for anticipated Santa Ana wind events. Despite high fire indices we managed to spend an entire two weeks staged at the Heap’s Peak Helibase with only a handful of false alarms and one actual fire response. We were released from this assignment on October 10th and also officially ended the helicopter contract (after three days of extension) on this day as well. The helicopter flew to its temporary winter home in Lancaster, CA while the crew traveled by ground to Quincy.



Flight Hours: 183.6
Days Committed: 66
Initial Attack Fires: 26
Large Fires Assignments: 6
Single Resource Assignments: HMGB/South Zone; TOLC, DECK/Idaho; ICT4(t)/local
Agencies/States Supported:  ID-PNF, ID-BOF, ODF, CA-ANF, CA-INF, CALFIRE, CA-TNF, CA-LNF, CA-MDF, CA-MNF, CA-SRF, CA-BDF

Taskbooks Completed:  3 HECM, 1 ICT4, 1 FFT1, 1 ICT5, 1 ABRO, 1 TFLD, 1 HMGB, 1 HEQB


2012 Summary:  2012 started off pretty early. We actually had multiple IAs in January. Our first proper fire assignment with the helicopter was to Virginia and then on to Florida in April; this was prior to the contract period so the helicopter was activated under an optional use clause in the contract. The seasonals hadn't come on yet so the helicopter went with two of the permanents serving as Manager and Crew Member. Once the seasonals arrived in early May we got off to a quick start with an assignment to the Sequoia NF on the first day of the contract. From there it was an up and down season, with a decent number of IAs and several off forest assignments. There were several single resource orders, but we were only able to fill a few due to helicopter staffing priorities. The contract was extended for a total of three weeks. All said, this was a good season with a decent uptick in work from the previous few years.


Flight Hours: 205

Days Committed: 56
Initial Attack Fires: 22
Large Fires Assignments: 3
Single Resource Assignments: HMGB, HECM/Virginia, Florida; ABRO,HMGB(t)/Wyoming, Utah; 2 ABRO/California; TFLD/South Dakota
Agencies/States Supported:  USFS-R8, CA-MDF, CA-ANF, CA-TNF, CA-ENF, CA-KNF, CA-LNF, CA-SQF, CALFIRE, SD-BIA-Rosebud
Taskbooks Completed:  5 HECM, 1 ICT4, 1 FFT1



2011 Summary The season started off with the helicopter on a delayed start.  The crew rolled to the Modoc NF the first week the helicopter started.  Local IA was slow this year.  We sent dudes to Alaska to staff helibases and manage helicopters, one to Texas as a Dozer Boss, one to Texas on an engine, and several fill in assignments on the local Hotshot Crew.  The crew had a couple of rolls to Reno and Carson City and we hit two large fire assignments in Wyoming. 


Flight Hours:  156

Days Committed:  98
Initial Attack Fires: 27
Large Fires Assignments: 4
Single Resource Assignments: HMGB/Alaska, ABRO/Alaska, HEB2/Wyoming, DOZB/Texas
Agencies/States Supported:  CA-MDF, CA-LNF, NV-HTF, CALFIRE, NV-BLM-Carson City, NV-BLM-Winnemucca, WY-SHF, AK-DOF, AK-AFS
Taskbooks Completed:  1 HEB2, 1 HMGB, 4 HECM, 2 ABRO, 1 TOLC, 1 FFT1



2010 Summary:  The year was the slowest season in recent history, but we made the most of what was put on our plate.  We had less than average numbers in every category.  We managed to complete several training assignments and task books.  We got out of state/out of region twice with trips to Idaho and Nevada.  We sent 1 to Alaska early on.  Tues/Wed guys were the OT winners, Fri/Sat guys not so much.  There is not much to say about 2010 except that it is over.



Flight Hours: 98
Days Committed: 68
Initial Attack Fires: 34
Large Fire Assignments: 3
Single Resource Assignments:  HMGB/Alaska, DIVS/Idaho, TFLD/Idaho, HEB1/California.
Agencies/States Supported:  AK-DOF, ID-BLM Twin Falls, NV-BLM Winnemucca, CA-CALFIRE
Taskbooks Completed:  4 HECM, 1 DIVS, 1 TFLD, 2 ABRO, 2 ICT5, 3 FFT1, 1 TOLC, 1 HEB1


2009 Summary:  The season started with single resource requests to AK.  Large fires on the Six Rivers, Mendocino, and Plumas kept the crew employed.  Local IA was average, CALFIRE assists were below average.


Flight Hours: 200

Days Committed: 98
Initial Attack Fires: 61
Large Fire Assignments: 4
Single Resource Assignments:  TFLD/Alaska, DIVS/California, TFLD/California, 4 HRAP/Oregon
Agencies/States Supported:  AK-DOF, CALFIRE, NPS-CA Lassen NP, CA-MNF, CA-LNF, CA-MDF, CA-SRF, CA-SHF
Taskbooks Completed: 4 HECM, 1 ABRO, 3 FFT1, 2 ICT5, 1 CRWB, 1 ICT4


2008 Summary:  An early trip to the Los Padres for the Indians and Gallery fires started the season right.  On the way home lightning lit up the Plumas and the rest of Northern California with hundreds of fires in 24 hours.  This kept the crew rolling for six weeks of long days.  We ended the season with a week on a large fire outside Carson City.



Flight Hours: 235
Days Committed: 101
Initial Attack Fires: 67
Large Fire Assignments: 6
Single Resource Assignments:  TFLD/California, C-Faller/ California, FELB/ California, 2-HMGB/California, ASGS/ California
Agencies/States Supported:  CA-LPF, CA-MNF, CALFIRE, NV-BLM-Carson City, CA-MDF, CA-LNF
Taskbooks Completed:  4 HECM, 1 HERS, 2 FFT1, 2 ICT5, 1 CRWB, 1 TFLD



2007 Summary:  Early season sent 1 to Minnesota, and then 2 to Southern CA.  The rest of the crew went to Alaska.  In AK the group was split in 2 some traveling with the helicopter the other group assigned to a large fire in Deshka Landing.


Flight Hours: 243

Days Committed: 100
Initial Attack Fires: 62
Large Fire Assignments: 4
Single Resource Assignments:  HEB1/Minnesota, CRWB & CRWB(t)/Southern California, 7 HECM & 1 HMGB to Alaska, 2 HRAP to Wenatchee WA.
Agencies/States Supported:  MN-SPF, CA-SNF, CA-MNF, CA-LNF, CALFIRE, AK-DOF, AK-BLM
Taskbooks Completed: 6 HECM, 3 FFT1, 1 CRWB, 2 ICT5