Although the 2011 fire season started late, the DNR’s fire crews and contractors didn’t take things for granted. This video shot in July shows the pilot of an amphibious Airtractor 802F ‘Fire Boss’ aircraft making proficiency runs in a field near Springdale, Washington. Take a look at the video and you’ll agree that the pilot of this single-engine plane definitely passed the proficiency test for water drops.
The 802F Fire Boss, by the way, scoops water from lakes and rivers near a fire, enabling the pilot to make dozens of water drops on a wildfire. The plane can scoop up to 800 gallons in about 8 seconds at 75 mph. This practice can help slow down the spread of a new fire, giving ground crews time to reach it and create a perimeter to stop the spread. DNR uses these planes through a contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. DNR’s fire program protects almost 13 million acres of state, private and Tribal lands in Washington State.
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