Frequent question: Is aerial firefighting expensive?

But aerial firefighting is expensive. Tankers cost upwards of $6,000 per hour to operate. According to Edward G. Keating, a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, “Retardant costs about $3 a gallon.

Is aerial firefighting effective?

Fortunately, the aerial resources found in the study to be most effective for Initial Attack, Fire Bosses and Type 2 helicopters, are significantly less expensive than LATs and VLATs, making these smaller assets the most cost- and fire- effective tools to include in state and federal budgets for these EU contracts.

How much does fire retardant cost?

In 2020, the federal government and state agencies dropped over 56 million gallons (211,983,060 liters) of retardant, which costs on average $3.10 per gallon, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

How dangerous is aerial firefighting?

But unpredictable atmospheric conditions make flying over wildfires difficult and dangerous. Thirty-seven firefighters have died in aerial firefighting accidents in the last decade. If similar casualty rates prevailed on the ground, the Forest Service found, more than 200 ground firefighters would die every year.

Is it hard to become an aerial firefighter?

Aerial firefighters push themselves and the aircraft to safely achieve assigned missions. The job is far from easy, but you must have a passion for whatever mission is at hand.

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How do you get into aerial firefighting?


  1. 1,500 hours total in all aircraft*
  2. 1,200 hours in airplanes.
  3. 200 hours in airplane single engine land.
  4. 200 hours in airplane single engine sea (ASES) or 50 hours in ASES plus Fire Boss training course offered by Wipaire, Inc. …
  5. 25 hours in the same make and model to be flown.

How much do Smokejumpers make?

A smokejumper earns around $16.00 per hour while a smokejumper foreman earns about $24.00 per hour. Smokejumpers are paid nothing extra for making parachute jumps; however, they do receive hazard pay equivalent to 25 percent of their base pay when working on an uncontrolled wildfire.

Is fire retardant toxic to humans?

Fire retardant chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs are being phased out because they persist and accumulate in the environment, have been found to be toxic to humans, and are associated with neurodevelopmental problems in children and altered thyroid function in pregnant women.

Why do fire planes drop red water?

Most fire retardant that’s dropped from the air is one of the various formulations branded as Phos-Chek, and overall it’s deemed safe. … The thickener makes the retardant splat instead of blowing away. As for the splatter people find on their homes and cars, once dry, it’s tough to remove, leaving a faded red stain.

How much fire retardant can a 747 hold?

Most large air tankers carry up to 3,000 gallons of retardant. The 747 is capable of carrying far more retardant than any other. When first introduced it was listed at 20,000 gallons. Then the federal government certified it at 19,200 gallons.

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Fire safety