Super Scoopers Assist in California Blaze

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --

For the first time ever, two Super Scooper planes helped fight a fire in San Diego County on Wednesday over Camp Pendleton.

In September, the county leased the aircraft from Canada for 90 days. The planes are amphibious flying machines that can refill their 1,600-gallon tanks without landing. The planes fill up by dipping into a large water source. The refilling only takes about 12 seconds.

The county is spending millions of dollars on those two planes. Firefighters said they're glad to have them.

"Just like all fixed-wing aircraft it's another tool in the toolbox to help eliminate fires," said Capt. Nick Schuler of Cal Fire.

The Super Scoopers are based in Ramona. They can fly in winds exceeding 50 mph. They can also stay airborne for three to five hours, depending on weather conditions.

Copyright 2008 by NBCSandiego.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Loading