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No Super Scooper for SD County

Audio

Aired 5/13/09

San Diego County will not spend $3 million on a so-called Super Scooper plane to fight wildfires this summer.

A Super Scooper firefighting plane fills up in Lake Elsinore.
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Above: A Super Scooper firefighting plane fills up in Lake Elsinore.

— San Diego County will not spend $3 million on a so-called Super Scooper plane to fight wildfires this summer. Instead, the County Board of Supervisors has approved using other resources from around the region for aerial firefighting.

Board Chair Diane Jacob says the county will use a combination of local firefighting aircraft, air tankers and civilian and military helicopters. Jacob says these tools can be used on an as needed basis.

“Another added benefit is that we will have the ability to obtain these assets year round, not just the ninety day period but year round,” she says.

Jacob says the county is setting aside $250 thousand dollars for aerial fire protection. She says the planes and helicopters can be summoned before a forecasted Santa Ana or after a fire breaks out. Jacob says having a variety of resources gives the county more flexibility.

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