Published in Canby Herald
The airport is being used as staging and support area in the battle to keep area blazes under control
As the battles continue to be fought against wildfires in Marion, Clackamas and Linn counties, the Oregon Department of Forestry crews are basing resilience assets at the Aurora State Airport to fast-track their efforts to contain the fires.
At least one Oregon Army National Guard Helicopter and a U.S. Air Force Reserve helicopter, as well as several contract helicopters are staged at Aurora Airport. Additional ground support equipment, tankers and mobile command trailers also are on site.
Lynx FBO Services is providing assistance with fuel, aircraft marshaling and coordination of ramp space. Jon Bickford, Lynx line manager, has direct experience with the challenging coordination of aircraft in situations like the current one.
The Aurora Airport Water Control District has volunteered 50,000 gallons of water per day to the Oregon Department of Forestry to use in preparation for air drops once the weather and visibility allow.
“Aurora Airport businesses and the Water Control District will continue to do anything we can for our surrounding communities,” said Bruce Bennett, volunteer director of the Water Control District. “Many of our airport businesses are generously stepping up to help those who need us during this time. We will partner in this team effort in any way we can.”
Based at Aurora Airport, Helicopter Transport Services is one of those businesses. With one of the largest and most diverse fleets of helicopters in the industry, HTS conducts missions that range from heavy lift, to fire suppression and air ambulance efforts.
HTS already had its Skycrane Helitanker working in the Santiam Canyon area and is offering to support ODF directly from its Aurora base.
As the battle continues, ODF crews, along with contracted and National Guard aircraft, are expected to be continuing to fight the wildfires in the area.