July 14, 2013
While out looking for meteorites this weekend I noticed smoke a few miles away in the foothills, it appeared to me that an off-road vehicle had caught fire. Being prime fire season, I wondered if I should call County Fire?
A moment later I heard a helicopter on the scene checking things out, and after a few more minutes a tanker jet started circling the area following a smaller spotting plane. The spotter made several low elevation passes while the tanker circled, then the tanker came in. Flying barely faster than stall speed they swooped in, mirroring the face of the hillside probably 50'-100' off the deck, I could see their shadow on it from where I was standing.
They made the retardant drop:
Then hit the thrusters, (check out the eddies behind them):
Then it was hard back on the stick and they circled to gain elevation again. Fire extinguished!