SPOKANE, Wash. – Firefighting agencies across the Inland Northwest have recognized that fire season started earlier, and will likely last longer. One national aerial firefighting company has its headquarters in Spokane, and they said they are busier than ever just six months into the year.
Aero-Flite is a privately operated water-scooping air tanker that delivers water and fire retardant for wild land fire suppression.
Video from 2015’s Okanogan Complex Fire shows Aero-Flite using a lot of resources to battle the blaze.
Mike Lynn is the director of operations for Aero-Flite and said even with the snow pack and rain helping, it is not slowing down the start of fire season.
“it's starting to crank up already and we have dealt with fires in the area already on the north side of the quest casino,” he said. “That's an indication to us that the fire season is starting here but normally the fire season in Washington starts in the later part of June”
Lynn said the changes in weather patterns have his guys fighting wildfires from February to November. They start in part of the south and east coast before panning over to the west coast.
With such an uptick in demand, Lynn said they are having trouble finding qualified pilots to help fly their increasing number of aircraft available.
Original article can be found here: http://www.krem.com