SDG&E leases Erickson Air-Crane helicopter

On September 9 Wildfire Today reported on San Diego Gas and Electric’s plans to lease a large helicopter that would be available to fight wildfires. They now have in place an Erickson Air-Crane S-64E Type 1 helicopter that can be ordered through the San Diego Fire Department. The first two hours will be free, paid by SDG&E, with any additional time costing $7,500 an hour. When the helicopter is not fighting fires, it will be used to build a new power line.Photo: Erickson Air-Crane

The helicopter is being leased through and operated by Erickson Air-Crane and will be stationed at Brown Field in Otay Mesa.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has an article that explores the relationship between SDG&E and the San Diego City Council, and how the Council supported the power company’s plan to shut off the electricity to large sections of the county during periods of high fire danger. 

Television special about Air-Cranes

How did we miss this? From Erickson Air-Crane’s web site:

The first ever one-hour documentary devoted exclusively to Erickson Air-Crane and our S-64 has premiered worldwide on the National Geographic Channel in the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Iceland, Lithuania, and most recently in the United States on Thursday, September 17th and 24th under the title: “Aircrane: Extreme Helicopter” The program is currently scheduled to repeat through the rest of the year. The nationwide premiere of program on National Geographic Canada is scheduled for October 16th at 9 p.m. P.S.T. 

I was unable to find any future broadcast times for the program on the NGC’s web site. If anyone has information about this, let us know.


Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “SDG&E leases Erickson Air-Crane helicopter”

  1. Thank goodness for technology and satellite TV access in fire camp.During the end of our shifts on the Station Fire (CA-ANF), the IC, DPIC, and LOFR were able to watch the NGC Channel documentary as we wound down for the night in our ICP trailer. Pretty cool. Some folks insisted on sports, but I preferred the History Channel and the NGC… I had the clicker…. The technology and satellite TV access was critical in earlier stages of the incident for "real time" intel. Great documentary, but interrupted frequently for late night "Command" activities of our normal jobs on the fire.I actually was watching the documentary as I was summoned to re-engage and thoroughly go through and approve the next days IAP in the wee morning hours…… 7 corrections…. Off to print… Early morning briefing at 0600. Yeah… life is fun…. What fire?


Comments are closed.