More on this petition:
Contract the Martin Mars Waterbombers for 5 more years to protect BC effective immediately, not just 1 month!
A 1-month contract just ran out with the BC Government, do not give up the fight of a 5-yr contract, thanks for all in support of the return of the Martin Mars Waterbombers, let's keep ALL the TOOLS in the toolbox meaning keep the Mars contracted here in BC for another 5 years! Here is a recent statement from Wayne Coulson Martin MARS - Coulson Flying TankersAugust 24 at 8:45pm ·The Mars has shown itself to be very capable in all sorts of terrain. It has spent the majority of its firefighting life in British Columbia which is well known for its rugged terrain. The Mars has also worked in the USA and Mexico with equal success in all kinds of varying terrain. All fixed wing aircraft in Canada and the USA operate under the same rules. No aircraft bombs uphill. It is either on level ground or downhill. If the terrain is unusually steep and the Bird Dog... does not think that a direct approach is possible, he will try to use different strategy to get the load where it may be useful. He may fly a curved approach or he may decide to work the fire from a different flank. He may use direct attack aircraft (like the Mars) or he may use indirect attack with a retardant aircraft. Every fire is different and the wind and visibility may be deciding factors, so the Air Attack Officer (AAO) will decide the best course of action for the time and place. For example, when the Mars was called in for its first day on the Harrison Lake fire all bombing runs were from the south to the north. The following day, due to visibility the runs were all done the opposite direction which meant climbing over a ridge before descending in for the drop. The runs were equally effective both days but required different strategy. The following two days there were no drops by any tankers because the reduced visibility did not allow for fixed wing flying. So the Province used helicopters wherever they could attack isolated pockets of the fire. These helicopter positions changed frequently over the course of a couple days depending on the smoke and the wind and the location of the firefighters working from the ground. Terrain is generally no more of an issue than wind or visibility. If fire is burning up a steep incline the general strategy is to anchor the fire to some natural or manmade point or barrier. This could be a road, outcropping of rock, a cat track, etc. Then the Air Attack Officer will generally work the flanks of the fire to control the spread or rate of spread. If a wind change is forecast then that will also be part of the AAO's decision making. Also part of the thought process will depend on whether he can get ground forces and where it will be safe for them to work. Trying to stop a fire that is making a run uphill is usually unsuccessful unless you get there in the early stages. Getting to a fire early is usually key to how successful the outcome will be. This is why the Martin Mars accomplished what it did so well for so many decades. It got out there early in the day and killed the fires before they became unmanageable.