The Hawaii Mars waterbomber may be up in the air this wildfire season after all.
Speaking on Monday morning, Coulson Group CEO Wayne Coulson said that the company had offered up all of its firefighting apparatus to the B.C. government.
“We’ve heard nothing as of yet,” said Coulson.
“Nothing has evolved from our office with the province.”
The Hawaii Mars has not flown in a B.C. firefighting mission since the summer of 2015.
Coulson remains hopeful that a new government coming into Victoria will change the way that forestry firefighting contracts are done.
“I hope that the [with] new government it will be a fair process,” he said, noting that “in our opinion, there’s been no question.”
It’s not only the Hawaii Mars up for grabs this firefighting seaon
“We have offered two Sikorsky S-61 heavy-lift helicopters, each with a 4000 litre capacity and one S-76 command and control helicopter that was in Australia this Spring and is approved to fight fire at night with our Night Vision Goggle capability,” Coulson said. He noted that the company is the only commercial operator approved for nighttime firefighting in B.C.
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The Hawaii Mars is currently undergoing maintenance and won’t be available until early August.
“We bumped it on the bottom of the lake and we’re still finalizing that repair,” said Coulson. “If government was interested or needed support, or God forbid there was a fire and [the Hawaii Mars] was the best tool to put it out, we would make it available.”
LISTEN: Wayne Coulson talks on what he sees as unfair firefighting contracts: