Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) – climate change – is contributing to fires in the wilderness that are larger, more frequent and more devastating.
Various aircraft have been used over the years for firefighting.. The yellow and red amphibious water bombers or “super scoopers” Canadair CL-215 and the CL-415 are the most commonly used.
They are assembled at the Bombardier Aerospace facility near North Bay/Jack Garland Airport in North Bay, Ontario, and tested on Lake Nipissing. In 2018, there were 165 in-service CL-215 and CL-415s serving 11 countries.
The CL-415 can scoop up to 1,620 US gallons (6,140 liters) – that is 6,140 kilograms / 13,500 pounds – of water from a nearby water source in ten minutes, mix it with a chemical foam if desired, and drop it on a fire without having to return to base to refill its tanks.
In 2019 the European Union set up a RescEU fleet of seven Canadairs and six helicopters from six EU member states: Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Croatia and Greece.
They are also available to other European countries and adjoining states, which can request to use the planes in an emergency to fight forest fires across Europe. Most recently they were used during the forest fires of California in August-September, 2020.
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