ODF plans nighttime SEAT operations following lightning activity

JOHN DAY – (Release from ODF Central Oregon)

Thunderstorms are in the weather forecast for much of central and eastern Oregon on Wednesday.  If these storms materialize Oregon Department of Forestry plans to utilize night operation of Single Engine Air Tankers (SEAT) to suppress fires if they are needed.  Night SEAT operations did not occur during last week’s thunderstorms because they were not needed to control any of the ignitions.

Firefighters in John Day have been working with Oregon Department of Forestry’s Aviation Unit for training and preparation should the opportunity and need arise where using a SEAT could safely support on the ground resources in controlling a fire.  Pilots utilize night vision goggles, hand signals and chem sticks to identify firefighters and locate the drop location.

Night operations will result in increased activity at the Grant County Airport where the SEAT tanker base is located.