Leadership

COPTER 406 RESPONDS

Issue 6 and Volume 144.

At 1112 hours on August 11, 1990, Copter 406 was dispatched, along with five engines, two bulldozers, two handcrews, an air attack plane, and two air tankers, to a reported wildland fire near the Calandra Lookout in southern Monterey County, California. On board C406 were myself, pilots Ted Smith and Jim Chandler, and eight firefighters. Thirty minutes later, our helicopter encircled a brushfire one mile southeast of the lookout. We radioed an incident size-up to command center in King City and located a water source for our ship. Below us was a 50-acre fire in heavy brush, with flame lengths in excess of 40 feet, spreading up a canyon in steep terrain at a rapid rate (more than three ntph) toward the lookout. After conferring with the two pilots via intercom, I decided that our best course of action was to land near a road in the canyon bottom close…

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