Huge SDG&E helicopter will help fight fires

Huge SDG&E helicopter will help fight fires

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego Gas & Electric-owned helitanker with the capacity to drop up to 2,500 gallons of water will be available for use in firefighting efforts in San Diego County under renewed agreements between the utility and the city, county and fire agencies, SDG&E announced Friday.

The heavy-lift Erickson Air-Crane will remain on standby and can be en route to a fire in about 20 minutes, authorities said.

“We’ve seen a major increase in the number of wildfires throughout the state,” Cal Fire and San Diego County Fire Authority Chief Thom Porter said. “With the extreme dry conditions it is a matter of when, not if, we will need to call on the air-crane to help support our fire suppression efforts.”

Under the agreement with the city, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department will be the lead agency to dispatch the air-crane to a fire upon request, according…

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