April 28, 2023
Aerial Wildland Firefighting Training Exercise Saturday April 29, 2023
Los Angeles, CA – In preparation for the 2023 wildfire season, Coulson Aviation will be completing a fleet wide training exercise on Saturday, April 29, 2023, in the Angeles National Forest above Santa Clarita, 7 miles northeast of Castaic Lake.
The large-scale training exercise is expected to commence at 12:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. Aircraft will be arriving and departing from Fox Field in Lancaster. Please refer to the attached map for the area within the Angeles National Forest where drops will be occurring.
Resources participating in the exercise include:
- One Citation Jet “Air Attack” command platform, directing the retardant dropping airtankers.
- One Citation Jet “Lead Airplane,” clearing an approach path for the larger airtankers to ensure safety and a clear path of travel.
- Two C-130 Air Tankers, each capable of dropping 4,000 gallons of retardant.
- One Boeing 737 Air Tanker, capable of dropping 4,000 gallons of retardant.
- One Sikorsky S-76 Helicopter (HLCO) command/intelligence platform equipped with infrared technology to allow for real-time fire mapping, reporting to the “Air Attack” and capable of directing the activities of the rotor wing aircraft.
- One CH-47 Chinook Helitanker, capable of dropping 3,000 gallons of water, gel, and/or retardant.
- Two Sikorsky S-61 Helitankers, capable of dropping 1,000 gallons of water or retardant.
During the training exercise, crews will practice with water to simulate the flying characteristics of a loaded aircraft and make accurate drops without significant environmental impact.
There will be no referenced visiting sites for media outlets; however, footage of the training exercise will be available through the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Public Information Office the week of May 1, 2023.
If you have any questions, please contact Fire Captain Sheila Kelliher, Public Information Office, at (213) 200-2477.