6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Forest Service Enlisting Night-Flying Helicopter to Fight Fires

Support Provided By
powerhousefire2-600

Powerhouse Fire/ Photo: Courtesy Zak Holman

The U.S. Forest Service will begin using night-flying helicopters to fight fires over the Angeles National Forest this month. These operations were previously not available due to restrictions put in place in the 1970s following a tragic helicopter crash.

"The restoration of this capability by the Forest Service -- though long overdue -- could not come at a more critical time, with one wildfire burning across Southern California and more expected throughout the summer," Representative Adam Schiff of Burbank said in a press release.

A fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter will be deployed this week to fight fires across the Los Angeles region. The helicopter will be used for dropping water and flame-retardant on fires but the Forest Service plans to eventually use it for emergency medical transport and aerial management as well, according to KABC.

The decision to allow the helicopter follows studies that indicate helicopter night operations can keep down the risks and costs of wildfires.

"Attacking wildfires at night from the air -- when temperatures and winds are down and humidity is up -- is an important tool, so resumption of Forest Service flights comes not a moment too soon," Senator Dianne Feinstein stated.

Controversy over the ban came to a head after the 2009 Station Fire. The Forest Service was subject of public criticism and congressional inquiries for how it handled controlling the blaze shortly after it began. It scorched 250 square miles in the Angeles National Forest, becoming the largest in L.A. County history.

Support Provided By
Read More
Students at Manchester Ave. Elementary School have virtual meet and greet with teacher

State Deal Encourages School Reopening by April; but Local Resistance Looms

Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced a multibillion-dollar deal today aimed at enticing schools to resume in-person instruction for young students by April 1, but it's unlikely L.A. Unified will meet that date.
(LEFT) ER nurse Adwoa Blankson-Wood pictured near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, wearing scrubs and a surgical mask; By October, Blankson-Wood was required to don an N-95 mask, protective goggles, a head covering and full PPE to interact with patients.

As A Black Nurse at The Pandemic's Frontlines, I've Had A Close Look at America's Racial Divisions

Most of the time, I was able to frame conversations within the context of the virus and not race, telling patients that we were doing our best, trying to be the heroes they kept calling us. But I was dying inside .... It was easier to find solace in my job, easier to be just a nurse, than to be a Black nurse.
The City of L.A. is staging a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic in Chinatown for senior citizens, in an attempt to improve access to the vaccine among vulnerable populations.

Long-Awaited COVID-19 Vaccine Access Expanding in L.A. County Monday

Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort will expand vastly Monday, but health officials said today those workers will have to be patient as vaccine supplies remain limited and staff are trained to ensure only eligible people receive shots.