The Hawaii Mars in action over Sproat Lake in Port Alberni. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

Province says no to Hawaii Mars

The BC Wildfire services believes the waterbomber isn’t modern enough

The province has no plans to hire the Hawaii Mars to fight fires in B.C. this summer.

According to the BC Wildfire service, they are concerned as to the age and efficiency of the planes.

VIDEO: Coulson says he’s heard ‘nothing yet’ on Hawaii Mars offer

“There are more modern and cost-effective aircraft available for use in B.C.’s varied terrain,” the province said. The Martin Mars waterbombers were originally built for World War II and retrofitted as firefighting lanes in the late 1950s.

Coulson Group CEO Wayne Coulson said that the Hawaii Mars is being repaired but that should the province ask, it would be ready to go by August.

In a factsheet provided by the province, it states that the Martin Mars waterbombers are at a disadvantage to its currently contracted planes. The provinces says that the Mars can draw water from only 113 bodies of water and that the suppressant delivery rate for the Abbotsford-based Conair Fire Boss air tankers is twice that of the Martin Mars.

RELATED: Conair Group provides 26 planes for wildfire situation

The province said that Coulson Aviation has four helicopters signed under a master standing offer and that the company’s C-130 aircraft are only licensed to fight fires in the United States, not Canada. In order to operate the C-130s in Canada, the BC Wildfire Service said that they would have to go through a mutual aid agreement with the US Forest Service.

RELATED: Coulsons add C-130s to their firefighting fleet

Coulson doesn’t believe that’s a legitimate reason to refuse the C-130.

“We offered the BC Forest Service our C-130. Putting the aircraft on a contract is a two hour exercise,” said Coulson. “We can operate the U.S.-registered aircraft under NAFTA in Canada, which we use to operate Canadian registered aircraft in the U.S. and vice versa.”

Martin Mars Factsheet – BC by Katya Slepian on Scribd


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

VIDEO: Sailing under the sun at the BC Games

Maple Bay in the Cowichan Valley was host to dozens of athletes sailing on small prams to planing dinghys

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

Wild fires blaze in the Okanagan, in your words

We have compiled a community photo album of your wildfire photos

Power couple speed into top spot at L’Alpe de Grand Blanc at Big White

The professional riders have been training all year

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Most Read