Friday, March 21, 2014
Spring Fire Season is almost upon us here in New Jersey
As some of you no doubt know, it has been an interesting winter here in New Jersey and elsewhere in the northeast and the mid-atlantic regions of the United States. And spring is or was upon us yesterday. And with spring comes the spring fire season here in New Jersey. I suppose you get what you wish for, and I was hoping for wet winter, with rain and not snow. But we got snow instead. But even with all of our snowfall, I know that it doesn't take all that long for the ground to dry out and lead to wildfire danger. I can look around my region and see the leaf litter, and can see that the top part of the soil drying out. And then there are always the trees which can catch fire in the form of crown fires. Point being that I have learned never to be complacent or think that a wildfire can not happen. It can always happen.
As you can see from the current New Jersey Forest Fire Service 2014 Contract Aircraft Schedule, also posted in red near the top right side of my blog, our aircraft (single engine air tankers aka SEATs) begin to go on contract starting on March 28th. We have one SEAT in each division, down from as much as ten SEATs covering the State a few years ago (see this article I wrote a couple of years ago. Three SEATs are not enough.
New Jersey Forest Fire Service -- 2014 Contract Aircraft (Revised March 12, 2014)
Division A - Aeroflex
Alpha-3, 300 gallon Ag Cat -- March 29 to May 4 (37 days)
Division B -- Miller Air
Bravo-3, 300 gallon Ag Cat -- April 3 to April 17 (15 days)
Bravo-1, 600 gallon Air Tractor 602 -- April 18 to May 11 (24 days)
Division C -- Downstown
Charlie-2, 400 gallon Turbine Ag Cat -- March 28 to April 19 (23 days)
Charlie-1, 600 gallon Air Tractor 602 -- April 20 to May 12 (23 days)
1 is the designator for the 602 Air Tractor (600 gallons)
2 is the designator for the 400 gallon turbine powered Ag cat.
3 is the designator for the 300 gallon Ag Cat.
4 is the designator (if needed) for a second 300 gallon Ag Cat.