Coldstream Helicopters expands Firecat wildfire fighting service to United States

Firecats expand to US

Coldstream Helicopters has expanded its Firecat wildfire fighting services to the United States.

The Okanagan company announced on its Facebook page that it has entered into a contract to provide Airbus AS 332L1 Firecats to Precision (Helicopters) LLC of Oregon while helping support and converting Precision’s own fleet to fight forest fires.

Robert Gallagher, president and CEO of the Coldstream Group of Companies, and David Rath, CEO of McMinnville, Ore.-based Precision and affiliated companies announced the collaboration.

"The joint project is designed to augment and bolster U.S. Forest Service, CalFire and other state forest agency Type 1 helitanker requirements this summer," Gallagher said in the post.

The aircraft are able to move up to 18 firefighters quickly to a fire scene at 309 km/h and provide immediate close air support with 10,000 pounds of water to protect communities.

Coldstream says they are the newest Type 1 standard category helicopters to enter the U.S. aerial firefighting arsenal without restrictions.

The multifaceted contract will provide multiple fully equipped AS 332L1s converted into Firecats to support wildfire operations, electrical grid infrastructure and construction across the United States.

The aircraft with be fully operated by Precision and supported by Coldstream in a leasing and technical support role.

Just last month, the company also announced the acquisition of two more AS332L1s from Aircentre Helicopters in Texas. The aircraft will enter into service this summer.

According to Coldstream's website, its current fleet includes six Airbus AS 332L/L1 - Super Puma Firecats, four Bell 212 HP + BLR helicopters, two Airbus - Astar B2s, and one Bell 206 B.

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