‘Goliath' Ready to Tackle Fires

The heavy-lift helicopter returns to San Diego County to help battle fires

If wildfires burn again in San Diego County, the heavy-lift helicopter “Goliath” will be available to fight back the flames, it was announced Thursday.

The Erickson Skycrane arrived to San Diego last week and will be stationed here through November.

The helicopter, owned and operated by San Diego Gas and Electric, can carry 2,500 gallons of water. That load is six times more than the average firefighting aircraft.

Crews can get the helicopter up into the air in less than a half hour, officials said.

“Goliath” will stay through September and October and will be restricted to operations within San Diego region, according to Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham.

“We have full control of it,” Mecham said.

Its operation will cost the county $150,000 with SDG&E contributing a matching amount.

“We’re very excited to have it in our region,” said SDG&E spokesperson Caroline Winn. “And to really help support the firefighters’ efforts.”

"Goliath" is normally used to lift large equipment or items like utility poles.

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