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

Sooke seniors activity centre gets green light from council

The move allows three groups to begin lobbying government for funding

Oak Bay showcases non-profits and more with inaugural volunteer fair

The Oak Bay Volunteer fair runs Jan. 20 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Monterey Recreation Centre

Boat capsizes in Caddy Bay

Two members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Race Team spent part… Continue reading

Peninsula speed skating duo aiming for the national stage

Pair opted to train in long track skating this season for the first time

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

LETTERS: Sooke roads not racetracks

What can we as a community do about the blatant law breakers… Continue reading

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Witnesses sought to reported sexual assault in downtown Victoria

Early morning incident happened near Quadra and View streets

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Most Read