The Hawaii Mars in action over Sproat Lake in Port Alberni. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

Province says no to Hawaii Mars

The BC Wildfire services believes the waterbomber isn’t modern enough

The province has no plans to hire the Hawaii Mars to fight fires in B.C. this summer.

According to the BC Wildfire service, they are concerned as to the age and efficiency of the planes.

VIDEO: Coulson says he’s heard ‘nothing yet’ on Hawaii Mars offer

“There are more modern and cost-effective aircraft available for use in B.C.’s varied terrain,” the province said. The Martin Mars waterbombers were originally built for World War II and retrofitted as firefighting lanes in the late 1950s.

Coulson Group CEO Wayne Coulson said that the Hawaii Mars is being repaired but that should the province ask, it would be ready to go by August.

In a factsheet provided by the province, it states that the Martin Mars waterbombers are at a disadvantage to its currently contracted planes. The provinces says that the Mars can draw water from only 113 bodies of water and that the suppressant delivery rate for the Abbotsford-based Conair Fire Boss air tankers is twice that of the Martin Mars.

RELATED: Conair Group provides 26 planes for wildfire situation

The province said that Coulson Aviation has four helicopters signed under a master standing offer and that the company’s C-130 aircraft are only licensed to fight fires in the United States, not Canada. In order to operate the C-130s in Canada, the BC Wildfire Service said that they would have to go through a mutual aid agreement with the US Forest Service.

RELATED: Coulsons add C-130s to their firefighting fleet

Coulson doesn’t believe that’s a legitimate reason to refuse the C-130.

“We offered the BC Forest Service our C-130. Putting the aircraft on a contract is a two hour exercise,” said Coulson. “We can operate the U.S.-registered aircraft under NAFTA in Canada, which we use to operate Canadian registered aircraft in the U.S. and vice versa.”

Martin Mars Factsheet – BC by Katya Slepian on Scribd


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

COLUMN: Will West Kootenay forests survive?

As with most things around ecology, the answer is not simple, says columnist Greg Utzig

Julien Locke races to NST World Cup berth

Black Jack cross-country skier Julien Locke races to first place at World Cup qualifier

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Most Read