Now if another wildfire strikes the Angeles National Forest, it will be easier to get water-dropping helicopters into the air at night to slow the blaze.
|Wally Skalij photo. August 27, 2009.|
Deputy Forest Supervisor Marty Dumpis said Thursday an agreement with local firefighters will make it easier to summon Los Angeles County helicopters for night firefighting in the huge forest on the edge of Los Angeles.
The Forest Service is considering allowing its own helicopters to attack wildfires at night, but the agency has long discouraged the practice because of risks to pilots. That policy is under review.
The USFS experimented with night flying in the 1970s, but abandoned it after a helicopter collision and since then has said it is too dangerous to fly helicopters 30 minutes after sunset.
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