1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer
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    Post West Virginia getting whirlybird.

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Citing faster response times, the West
    Virginia Division of Forestry has replaced its rented firefighting
    airplane with a helicopter.
    Marpat Aviation in Switzer is charging the state $39,450 to keep
    a helicopter on standby this month, when the threat of wildfires is
    at its worst, Assistant State Forester Mathew Dillon said.
    In addition, the agency will pay $700 for each hour the
    helicopter is used.
    "It's an expensive tool, but it saves so many acres and so much
    time," Dillon said.
    Although helicopters fly more slowly than planes, choppers are
    able to use collapsible buckets to collect up to 325 gallons from
    lakes, rivers or other water sources within two miles of a fire
    rather than having to reload with water at the closest airport.
    That allows the helicopter to dump more water on a fire much
    more quickly, Dillon said.
    "It's an initial attack tool that really knocks down the fire's
    force and lets the ground forces get in there and suppress the fire
    much quicker," he said.
    The helicopter will be available statewide but based at the
    Logan County airport and used primarily in the southern coalfields
    where most large wildfires occur, Dillon said.
    The helicopter is the state's only fire suppression aircraft.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  2. #2
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    Serious? 39K +$700 / hour? For southern WV? We have 900,000 acres of Monongahelia National Forest with timber resources. Southern WV-coal fields? Incredible!
    How about spending resources on W.U.I and education for WV FF's?
    It is comforting to have that resource on hand though. By the time we cut through the red tape the fires will probably reach the scenic southern part of WV.
    Sure am thankful for a wet spring/fall this year. Only had 3 fires all less that 1/10 acre and all arson this fall.
    Seriously $39K and $700/hour?
    Nice1
    Last edited by ShaversFork; 11-10-2003 at 11:30 PM.
    "If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the Gods to honour the men who make it their professional business to put it out?"
    Smokey
    Local 4124

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