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28 Aug 2014

Québec-California: 20 years of collaboration fighting brush fires

Presentation of the Québec water bombers to the American media. Just a few minutes before the start of the press conference the teams were put on alert and immediately went to the helicopters and the CL-415 water bombers, ready to take off. Fortunately, the alert was lifted just before take-off.

Two CL-415 water bombers and their Québec crews are currently in California to lend a hand to their Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) colleagues for the next three months. This is the peak brush fire season in this region of California.

This year marks 20 years of close collaboration between the teams of the Service aérien gouvernemental (SAG) of the Centre de services partagés du Québec (CSPQ) and the LACoFD. Over the years, nearly 140 Québec experts have helped their American counterparts fight brush fires.

$3 million a year

The current agreement nets Québec slightly more than $3 million a year and runs until 2015. The focus of the agreement is a commitment to put Québec’s forest fire fighting expertise to work for the population of Los Angeles County at a time when the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) is much less preoccupied with coordinating forest fire fighting activities here in Québec.

“This is a wining cooperation agreement, both financially and technically. By putting their extensive expertise to work to help their American colleagues, our teams in turn become even more proficient, which can only help in the fight against forest fires here in Québec,” said the Minister responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Stéphane Bédard.

Service aérien gouvernemental expertise

SAG has more experience with this type of water bomber and with this type of mission than any similar organization in the world. This is what makes it an invaluable ally of LACoFD in the fight against brush fires.

Alain Houde, Québec’s Delegate in Los Angeles, with Daryl L. Osby, Los Angeles County Fire Chief. The press conference to mark the arrival of the two CL-415 fire bombers was held at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles on August 26, 2013.

SAG – Fighting forest fires (French only)

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