Growing up in California, wildfire helicopters have always been a part of my summers. My parents live right under the approach to the local airport that becomes a helibase during fire season, and I get to see a lot of external loads going over. But there’s also an odd duck in the bunch most times: A Bell Cobra. I believe it’s operated by CalFire, but it’s job is airborne recon with infrared cameras to find hotspots and map the edges through smoke (at least that’s what my boss told me when I was working as a lookout for the USFS).
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone on here knows much about flying ISR Operations on wildfires. It seems interesting for a guy with a wildfire management degree, and I’d like to know more about it. I did a quick search and didn’t find a whole lot, so I started a thread.