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Mike Garcia Applauds Deployment of World’s Largest Firefighting Helicopters to Combat CA Wildfires

Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) released a statement applauding efforts by Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD), and Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) to team up to launch the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), which will deploy the world’s largest helicopters to combat wildfires in Southern California.

Today, Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) released a statement applauding efforts by Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD), and Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) to team up to launch the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), which will deploy the world’s largest firefighting helicopters to combat wildfires in Southern California. The program is supported by nearly $18 million in funding from Southern California Edison (SCE) and will run for 180 days starting June 15, 2021.

“It is imperative we do all we can to prepare for another wildfire season,” said Garcia. “I am pleased that Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD), and Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), as well as Southern California Edison, are teaming up to help prevent and combat the threat of wildfires to our community. These additional efforts to fight wildfires will play a pivotal role, especially with a heatwave on the way and the drought conditions we currently face.”

The launch of QRF comes as California endures extreme drought conditions and enters another predictably dire wildfire season. The new helicopters are Boeing Chinook helitankers (CH47s), which are the world’s largest fire suppression, retardant-dropping helicopters. The helicopters can carry up to 3,000 gallons and can fly during both the day and night. The new helicopters will add to LACoFD’s current air operations fleet.

“While this increased effort to help our community combat wildfires is great news, there is more that needs to be done,” said Garcia “In Congress, I am working to find legislative solutions to help us better prepare for and prevent wildfires. I also will continue to urge that California reduces its careless use of Public Safety Power Shut Offs (PSPS) that often cause more harm than good. Instead, we must modernize our power grid and prevent PSPS.”

Read more from Garcia on PSPS here.