Nighttime Wildfire Fighting Force Introduced

Helicopters to fight fires at night


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The U.S. Forest Service is stepping up its wildfire-fighting efforts with a major policy change that will allow nighttime air attacks. A specially trained crew and helicopter are now ready to carry out wildfire operations at night in Southern California. 

This is the first time nighttime firefighting will be employed since the 1970s, when it was banned for safety and cost reasons. The Forest Service reversed this policy in response to findings that they did not handle the devastating 2009 Station fire to their full capacity.

With an already active wildfire season and a massive blaze currently threatening over 1,000 homes near Angeles National Forest, the Forest Service hopes adding nighttime air operations will help contain fires more quickly and minimize overall damage costs.