Colorado wildfires a ‘learning curve’ for Sask. firefighters
Saskatchewan firefighters helping to grapple with one of the most destructive wildfires in Colorado say battling the blaze has been a “real learning curve.”
“With the different terrain it was a real learning curve for our guys,” said Wade Dupont, an air attack officer, who recently returned from Colorado.
“There were some unique firefighting situations for our fellas from Saskatchewan.”
Dupont, who has been an air attack officer for three seasons, said as a result of the “gnarly” terrain and the different types of vegetation that grow in the western United States, there were different burning characteristics and fire behaviour.
“What I saw was a lot of smoke and a lot of other helicopters and air tankers,” said Dupont, adding that sometime the situation seemed “helpless” because the climate has been so dry and hot.
Less than three weeks ago, Saskatchewan fire-fighting aircrafts were sent south to help the U.S. Forest Service. A pair of Convair 580A air tankers – each capable of carrying 1750 gallons of fire retardant – and a lead plane used to guide the planes, along with eight members left for Boise, Idaho.
Stephen Roberts, the executive director of the wildfire management program for Saskatchewan, said the crews are on rotation and will remain there for another week.
Follow on Twitter: @fanyeesuen