August 20, 2015
Beginning August 20, a Canadian CL-415 Super Scooper will be supporting firefighting efforts for the Clearwater, Municipal and Motorway Complex Fires.
The CL-415 can skim across the surface of a lake or reservoir and scoop 1,600 gallons of water to fill its tank. It can drop the 1600 gallons in one drop, or can drop two partial loads of 800 gallons each. The water drops take place from a height of between 100 to 150 feet.
The water source needs to be a minimum of 6 feet and allow for a 3-4 foot draft for the scoop. The turnaround between drops is quick if the water source is nearby, for instance, if the fire is within 6 miles of the fire, the turnaround is only 6 minutes. Dwarshak Reservoir, which is 4 miles northeast of Orofino, will be the water source for the CL-415 on the complex fires.
The Super Scooper needs a runway capable of supporting 36,000 pounds. It will be based at the Lewiston airport for these missions.
The CL-415 is power washed with hot water when it changes locations to prevent any possible spreading of aquatic invasive species.
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Air resources available today include two CL-415 “Super Scooper” Canadian air tankers stationed at the Lewiston airport to support fire suppression efforts in northern Idaho. Clearwater Complex fire information officer Mike Cole said the "Super Scoopers" will be using Dworshak Reservoir for a water source. Cole said these aircraft may be seen working in the Kidder Ridge area today.