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B.C. premier says he will lobby PM to enlist military for wildfire duty

Navy_Pete

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What I have noted in BC, that the up and coming young FN's are more connected to the world than their elders and want jobs. This is a problem as the current leadership grew up on the Rights and Title fights, but are not well prepared to create the economic opportunities for their people. This does not make the news, but it's a growing issue for many bands.
I think getting the FN involved in the long term forestry management would be a big win; controlled burns, and other similar stratagies are things they were doing for centuries. The current context is a bit insane, but generally lot of generational knowledge that could contribute to helping things.
 

ArmyRick

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Back to menial tasks for the CAF. Didn't we prove ourselves as excellent snow removal crews in TO?
 

daftandbarmy

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Back to menial tasks for the CAF. Didn't we prove ourselves as excellent snow removal crews in TO?

Yes, and especially when it's completely unnecessary as this recent proactive forest fire fuel management project in Mackenzie, BC proves:

Community of Mackenzie Now has a Safe Emergency Evacuation Route

Highway 39 is heavily forested on both sides of the highway and is the only access route in and out of the community of Mackenzie. The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) provided a grant of $1 million toward supporting a project by the District of Mackenzie (DOM) to reduce flammable woody fuel along the corridor.

Community of Mackenzie Now has a Safe Emergency Evacuation Route – FESBC – Forest Enhancement Society of BC
 

Dale Denton

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Would it be prudent for the RCAF to assist (as a last resort) with aerial firefighting? Could accidentally get more airframes perhaps.

Continue paying firefighting services from around the world to come here, but with RCAF support?
 

dapaterson

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Who will fly and maintain them, and pay for that fuel and those spares?
 

Good2Golf

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Would it be prudent for the RCAF to assist (as a last resort) with aerial firefighting? Could accidentally get more airframes perhaps.

Continue paying firefighting services from around the world to come here, but with RCAF support?
…not it’s choice to help. Aerial firefighting is, as several have said, a provincial responsibility and provincially funded to an industry that is very protective of its revenue. Last capability the CAF had was mid-90s with CH-135 Bambi buckets to take care of range fires, and they really weren’t used regularly beyond the late 80s. CH-147s had 3000gal rigid buckets that sat in the hangar with a layer of dust figuratively thicker than all the deadfall in the BC forests.

That’s all to say that the CAF might establish a rotary aerial firefighting capability when provincial and federal governments become open & transparent and fully responsive to the electorate…
 

daftandbarmy

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Would it be prudent for the RCAF to assist (as a last resort) with aerial firefighting? Could accidentally get more airframes perhaps.

Continue paying firefighting services from around the world to come here, but with RCAF support?

There would be an outcry from the tanker contractors who draw down about half a billion dollars in contracts annually to provide water bombers.

It's also a hugely specialized task fraught with multiple possibilities for crashing into the mountains, or so I'm told by the experts, so it helps to have the right kind of aircraft and crews.
 

OldSolduer

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It's also a hugely specialized task fraught with multiple possibilities for crashing into the mountains, or so I'm told by the experts, so it helps to have the right kind of aircraft and crews.
I'm not a pilot but landing an ungainly looking aircraft in a lake then skimming the surface to take water on, taking off and dumping the load on an out of control fire is not for the faint of heart. Then repeat that.
 

Good2Golf

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I'm not a pilot but landing an ungainly looking aircraft in a lake then skimming the surface to take water on, taking off and dumping the load on an out of control fire is not for the faint of heart. Then repeat that.
It’s even worse when you think you’re landing on the water, but you aren’t…
 

daftandbarmy

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It’s even worse when you think you’re landing on the water, but you aren’t…
Matthew Broderick Jewish GIF
 

lenaitch

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I'm not a pilot but landing an ungainly looking aircraft in a lake then skimming the surface to take water on, taking off and dumping the load on an out of control fire is not for the faint of heart. Then repeat that.
Nor am I but I spent a few years working alongside a (non-mountainous) fire operations centre and they have my enormous respect. Skimming the water at a fair clip, all the time getting heavier by the second . . . The pilots praised the newer turbine aircraft over their radial predecessors. As for the forestry departments' fire operations - a pretty well equipped and organized operation.

I'm not sure how the original suggestion of the RCAF assisting in aerial fire fighting was meant. Other than logistical support and a pool of untrained personnel, I'm not sure what the military could be expected to bring to the table.
 

daftandbarmy

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Nor am I but I spent a few years working alongside a (non-mountainous) fire operations centre and they have my enormous respect. Skimming the water at a fair clip, all the time getting heavier by the second . . . The pilots praised the newer turbine aircraft over their radial predecessors. As for the forestry departments' fire operations - a pretty well equipped and organized operation.

I'm not sure how the original suggestion of the RCAF assisting in aerial fire fighting was meant. Other than logistical support and a pool of untrained personnel, I'm not sure what the military could be expected to bring to the table.

Air evacuation assistance, mainly, from what I saw at OP LENTUS in 2017.

The big transports waiting at the airport in Williams Lake were viewed like a life boat for evacuating the hospitals, and other frail folks, if the fire overwhelmed the town.

Helicopters were also on standby to evacuate smaller communities that were threatened by fire that had cut off road access.

The Army was there mainly to reinforce police presence designed to deter looters, who were sacking holiday homes and small villages after the evacuation orders had been enforced.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Would it be prudent for the RCAF to assist (as a last resort) with aerial firefighting? Could accidentally get more airframes perhaps.

Continue paying firefighting services from around the world to come here, but with RCAF support?
There is literally no shortage of commercial operators that do this for a living.

The CAF would suck at it (because it is pretty specialized work) and the hue and cry from industry would be massive.

What there is is a shortage of is airlift for firefighting crews or evac of isolated communities. That is where the RCAF can contribute.
 

Blackadder1916

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. . . Skimming the water at a fair clip, all the time getting heavier by the second . . .

And sometimes getting too heavy.

a13a0075-photo-02.jpg


1.1 History of the flight
On the day before the occurrence, the flight crew had completed 53 water-drop flights at a forest fire located northeast of Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador. Each flight, typically about 3 minutes long, consisted of scooping water from Moosehead Lake,Footnote1 dropping the water on the fire, and then returning for another water scoop. . . .
 

lenaitch

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Air evacuation assistance, mainly, from what I saw at OP LENTUS in 2017.

The big transports waiting at the airport in Williams Lake were viewed like a life boat for evacuating the hospitals, and other frail folks, if the fire overwhelmed the town.

Helicopters were also on standby to evacuate smaller communities that were threatened by fire that had cut off road access.

The Army was there mainly to reinforce police presence designed to deter looters, who were sacking holiday homes and small villages after the evacuation orders had been enforced.

I suppose that's what I meant - aspects of a response to a wildfire, without the actual suppression activities.
 

childs56

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Many of the skills Bambi bucket and heli scoop does for aerial firefighting are similar to what our Current Helo Pilots do now. It would not take much training to get our Pilots up to snuff with drops.
As for their actual employment and companies complaining about their use. Where I can see the Military being valuable is in quick response to critical areas. Companies can be slow to respond because they contracts are not signed, assets are in maintenance prior to the usual season or they are deployed elsewhere. We seen this during the Fort Mac fires. The Ab Gov tried to save a buck and not contract the primary Tanker company until needed. Then it was to late. They had their valuable assets deployed elsewhere around the world and or in final maintenance.
 

Maxman1

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Maybe BC should build up a civil defense force for fires and other disasters.
 
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