Meet the Cal Fire Bell 407 helicopter

The green Bell 407, piloted by Ian Baird, rises up from dipping water at the Cahuilla Indian Reservation’s hot spring in 2020. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
California’s Cal Fire Air Program is one of the biggest and most experienced aviation programs in the world. Their fleet of over 60 fixed and rotary wing aircraft make it the largest department-owned collection of aerial firefighting equipment anywhere. The recent addition of 12 Sikorsky S70i Cal Fire Hawk helicopters and 7 Lockheed C-130H Hercules air tankers are an example of their commitment to being a premier firefighting aviation program. The agency operates 13 air bases and nine helicopter bases throughout the state.The Bell 407 Type III Helicopter is a vital part of the Cal Fire Air Program. These aircraft can seat up to seven people and fly for almost three hours without refueling.The ’copter has had some major modifications from older models, including a four bladed ma
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