LAFD adds large water-dropping chopper to fleet as peak fire season approaches

Monday, August 23, 2021
LAFD adds new chopper to fleet ahead of fire season
The LAFD is ready for peak fire season as they showcase some of the tools, including a new chopper that can drop 2600 gallons of water, enlisted in the fight against destructive fires.

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- City officials and the Los Angeles Fire Department are preparing for peak fire season.

The firefighting fleet now includes a larger chopper that can drop 2,600 gallons of water per load, with Monday marking the first day of the city's 150-day contract for the Erickson Air-Crane. Most standard choppers can only carry 500 gallons per load.

During fire season, the concerns are focused on the combination of dry brush and Santa Ana winds that often become a dangerous combination.

With new choppers on hand, LAFD is prepared for fire season - but officials are urging residents to be ready too.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said everyone should have a plan, which really comes down to knowing where to evacuate and deciding when to go when the time comes.

"Leaving your home when a wildfire is approaching is a difficult and emotional decision," Garcetti said.

"I know a lot of people say, I'm gonna make my stand. I'm gonna stay with my animals, they haven't prepared. It's a moment of panic. But we've also seen these fires in recent years in our city spread by as much as a football field in just a few seconds.

He also encourages residents to find their documents, sign up for city emergency notifications by texting "ready" to 888-777, and to register large pets like horses so responders know where they live.