The two new Conair air tankers have been at Penticton Airport for less than a week and already they have been put to work fighting the wildfire near Peachland.
The B.C.-based Dash 8 air tankers landed at Penticton Airport on June 1 ready to help in the upcoming wildfire season. On Monday, they were already working on the 33-hectare wildfire on Highway 97C outside of Peachland.
Multiple aerial resources are battling the fire and will be flying over Okanagan Lake. As of Tuesday, June 6, the out-of-control Pigeon Creek fire had reached 33 hectares. The cause of the blaze is currently unknown.
The two Dash 8s have replaced a trio of Conair planes that have now been retired. The new air tankers carry 25 per cent more retardant, as well as cruise 100 mph faster than the old ones, according to Conair.
It was on Sept. 12 last year when Conair firefighting air tankers wrapped up work in Penticton for the season. Crews were forced to stick around for almost a week longer than they were supposed to, amid the 10,000-hectare Heather Lake wildfire near Manning Park.
Air tanker pilot Grahame Wilson retired from the Penticton base after fighting fires from the air for 39 years.
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