July 2, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The Erickson Air Crane, a heavy-left helicopter contracted by SDG&E for construction work on Sunrise Powerlink, was called early this afternoon to help battle the Eagle Fire. The massive chopper can carry up to 30,000 gallons of water or fire retardant chemicals.
The Eagle Fire has scorched 2,500 acres and remains just 5% contained as of 5 p.m. this evening. It is currently burning about 14 miles east of Santa Ysabel near Warner Springs on tribal lands as well as state park property.
“We are pleased to be able to assist in this emergency and further demonstrate the ongoing commitment of SDG&E and Erickson Air-Crane to provide air support to our county’s firefighters when needed to protect our communities," said Sempra spokesperson Stephanie Donovan. The Air Crane will also be available tomorrow if needed, she added.
The Air Crane was requested by Cal-Fire and is a replacement for an Air Crane helicopter that dropped two Powerlink transmission towers in separate incidents earlier this month in the Imperial Valley.