Spills and Hazardous Materials Considerations

Aviation: Airtanker
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Nov 2020


An airtanker base can be exposed to minor and major spills of hazardous materials.

All base personnel should be prepared to rapidly and efficiently deal with any type of spill within their facility. Being prepared can help minimize the number and severity of these spills.

Discuss processes and plans for a hazardous materials spill.

  • Does the base have an updated and approved spill response plan?
    • Have all base personnel reviewed the plan this year?
    • What are the procedures for each position during a spill response?
  • How often are tanks, pumps, hoses, fittings, and connections inspected?
    • Who should inspect them?
  • When attaching/detaching the loading hose from an airtanker, does your base:
    • Try to catch any spillage with a bucket/container?
    • Wash off any spillage after each load?
    • Ignore the spillage, or wait till the next day to clean the ramp?
  • How well does your ramp area drain?
    • What does it drain into?
  • Does your base have a spill cleanup kit for the ramp?
    • What are the contents?
    • Where is it located?
  • Are there containment systems in place?
    • Are the containment barriers able to capture the required amount of material?
  • Is there an approved hazardous materials cabinet at your base?
    • Where is it located?
    • Are all materials considered hazardous stored there when not in use?
    • Does everyone working at the base understand what is considered hazardous?


Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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