ERADICATING AND CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF WILDFIRES: AERIAL FIREFIGHTING IN EUROPE

The Toughest Jobs Call for the Toughest Aircraft

Longer fire seasons are the new normal around the world. New records are set each year as countries grapple with extreme heat, challenging wind conditions, and droughts, which leads to more frequent, intense wildfires In the last three years, we’ve seen the wildfire landscape change significantly around the world and the entities responsible for eradicating and controlling the spread of wildfires have the additional challenge of predicting the unpredictable with the new normal.  It takes an incredible amount of experience, knowledge and planning to prepare for the unknown of a fire season.

Aerial firefighting is a significant tool when battling wildfires.  Operators around the world are supporting agencies in their efforts to protect their nation’s citizens and property with safe, effective aerial assets.  According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) the United States saw a reduction in the total number of fires and acres burned in 2019; however, the European Union (EU) saw a substantial increase.  Agencies and organizations within the EU were battling a 283% increase in total acres from 2018.  While the increase was significant, the total acres burned in 2019 equated to 56% of the total acres burned in 2017, indicating the unpredictably of fire seasons and the need for aerial assets to scale with acres burned each season.

By: Brittany Wise, Vice
President / General Manager of Civil Aviation
Services at Erickson Incorporated