A Relentless Summer Of Fire

Keith D. Cullom reports on the wildfires that plagued the West, from Arizona to southern California.


With the flicker of flame, a new wildland fire season began. This year, the initial calls for aid were received from the state of Arizona and not only drew quick resource response but prompted a quick realization that 1996 was going to be a long, hot year on the fire lines in the West. With what...


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With the extreme potential from continued serious fire activity, Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman received approval from the county Board of Supervisors to request from the Province of Quebec an early delivery of two Canadair CL215Y Super Scooper air tankers that had previously been contracted to arrive on Oct. 1. Los Angeles County had tested the firefighting aircraft over the past two fire seasons and had leased the planes for the next five seasons for October and November, based on anticipation of the annual arrival of the wind-driven fire conditions known as Santa Ana Winds. With the county leasing the two tankers, it became the only agency in the United States using the aircraft which were designed for firefighting.


Keith D. Cullom, a Firehouse® correspondent, is a California-based freelance writer and photographer. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Photographers (IFPA).