OC Fire Chief Brian Fennessy details new ‘Chinook’ night firefighting helicopter

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Orange County Fire Authority has a new aircraft at their disposal, thanks to a contract in collaboration with Southern California Edison and Coulson Aviation.

The CH-47 Chinook Very Large Helitanker (VLHT) operated by Coulson Aviation is working under an 83-day contract in collaboration with Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).

Registered as N42CU, the night-flying Chinook will be crewed 24/7 and available for responses day and night within the 15 counties served by SCE. The daily availability costs of $2.1 million for the contract period are being paid by SCE, while the hourly costs will be covered by the agencies responsible for the fire protection where the fires occur.

The Chinook will be based at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base in Orange County. It can fill it’s 3,000-gallon internal tank while on the ground, or while hovering over a water or retardant source using its retractable snorkel hose.

Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy joined KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego to tell us all about the CH-47 Chinook Night Firefighting Helicopter, and how important the aircraft is for Southern California.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Wildfires