As the Lilac Fire rips through North County, the Super Scooper is back in San Diego to help fight the flames.
The amphibious firefighting aircraft can fly at speeds up to 233 mph and scoop up to 1,600 gallons of water in just 12 seconds from an ocean or lake. Then it drops it onto raging wildfires.
Two Super Scoopers are currently stationed at Brown Field Airport in San Diego.
According to Fire Chief Brian Fennessy with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, the aircraft has not been stationed in San Diego since 2008.
“The recession hit and quite frankly it was difficult to fund,” said Fennessy. “They cost about $16,000 a day each just to be available, and $1,107 per flight hour.”
Mayor Kevin Faulconer decided to bring them back after the heat wave this year.
The Canadian aircraft is leased to San Diego, as well as Los Angeles, where firefighters have been using it to battle multiple wildfires in the area.