Working With Helicopter Drops
Consider the following questions when you have a helicopter with a bucket working in your area:
- If the helicopter is a Type 1, increase the distance of standby place from the drop zone.
- Use helicopter drops to knock down or secure a fire area that poses a direct imminent threat to escaping control lines or climbing up ladder fuels.
- Do you have good communications?
- Does the pilot have a clear understanding of the target?
- Are trees and snags in the drop zone?
- Are ground crews clear of the area?
- What are the winds doing?
- What is the turnaround time for the helicopter?
- Are people on the ground aware of the effects of the helicopter’s rotor wash?
- Give feedback to the pilot about drop accuracy. Be honest and constructive.
- Be aware that helicopter performance capabilities may be significantly reduced at high altitudes and/or high temperatures.
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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