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Helitack Articles
  Aerial Firefighting

SAFETY ALERT MESSAGE! 8-04-09 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

The U.S. Forest Service has issued an Aviation Safety Alert as a result of the investigation into the recent rappelling accident that took the life of Thomas Marovich, in Willow Creek, California.  Please click the logo to follow the link for the pertinent information.  It will go to a .pdf file to view.



Rappell accident/fatality in Willow Creek, CA 07/21/2009 PDF  | Print |  E-mail


Fatal Accident During Routine Training at The Backbone Helibase Update

Incident: Backbone Wildland Fire
Released: 5 hrs. ago(07/21/2009)


U.S. Forest Service � National Incident Management Organization - Atlanta

Klamath National Forest

1312 Fairlane Road, Yreka, CA 96097 � Voice (530) 842-6131 � Web: www.fs.fed.us/r5/klamath

Shasta-Trinity National Forest

3644 Avtech Parkway, Redding, CA 96002 � Voice (530) 226-2500 � Web: www.fs.fed.us/r5/shastatrinity

Six Rivers National Forest

1330 Bayshore Way, Eureka, CA 95501 � Voice (707) 442-1721 � Web: www.fs.fed.us/r5/sixrivers

  Release No. FS-07 21 09 (2) July 21, 2009

Fire Information: 530-629-2816

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it www.inciweb.org/incident/1716/

  Fatal Accident During Routine Training At the Backbone Helibase Update

  WILLOW CREEK, Calif. - Thomas Marovich, 20, of Hayward California incurred fatal injuries when falling while performing routine rappel proficiency skill training, at the Backbone Helibase in Willow Creek.

  Marovich was a second year apprentice with the Forest Service at the Modoc National Forest, and was working with the Chester Helitack Crew from the Lassen National Forest which was assigned to the Backbone Fire at the time of the accident.

  At 10:10 this morning Marovich fell and incurred fatal injuries while performing the required training which is conducted at a minimum every 14 days to insure the crew's safety and skill proficiency.

The individual was provided advance life support treatment immediately at the scene. The Base medical staff, the Humboldt County Coroner's Office, and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office were involved in the response.

The Forest Service has mobilized an accident investigation team and is working with the National Transportation Safety Board.


HAI 2009 Humanitarian Service Award PDF  | Print |  E-mail
HAI Announces Recipient of the 2009 Igor I. Sikorsky Award for Humanitarian Service
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 / HAI

HAI is proud to announce the 2009 Igor I. Sikorsky Award for Humanitarian Service recipient, Grand Canyon National Park Helitack, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, Grand Canyon, Arizona.





















Read the full article here...



DNR's helitack firefighters a swift response to state wildfires PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, September 8, 2008 2:10 PM PDT
DNR's helitack firefighters a swift response to state wildfires
Helitack helicopters stand at the ready last week at Bowers Field next to state Department of Natural Resources southeast headquarters. Mike Johnston / Daily Record
Read the article on the Daily Record website... 


Zion Helitack blog - Michael Reid's personal account of the August 5, 2008 S-61 accident in CA. PDF  | Print |  E-mail

S-61 Helicopter Crash On The Buckhorn Fire!

It has been a long while since I last posted on the blog... I got busy with the season as always, and then before I knew it we were being released off district and on our way to Northern California to join in the massive efforts to support the wildfires ravaging their vast country. We had a difficult begining to our roll, and it only seemed to worsen with time. Early on in our assignment to the Iron Complex near Weaverville CA. the life of a National Park Service employee was lost during felling operations. We were at the incident during this tragedy and it was difficult for some of my crew to undergo the helpless feeling of listening to the tragedy unravel over the radio, only later to find out that the firefighter had lost his battle with life during transport to Redding.

Following this incident we moved our operation over to the Willow Creek Helibase and continued to support the several fires on the Iron Complex. We had supported with troop shuttles, recons, and even the cutting of several helispots and digging line in preparation to hold the Buckhorn fire. Our days were filled with
transporting people, and slinging gear into place for many operations that seemed to be a small, inconsequential effort against a fire that was determined to take more acres.

We were only a day away from coming home when we took part in an incident that will emotionally scar and change the lives of my crew and those on the Buckhorn fire. I have had a difficult time dealing with the shotgun of emotions that I have felt, and decided this night that perhaps I should talk briefly about what I saw and what I know happened during the Helicopter Crash on H-44 of the Buckhorn Incident...


Click here for the rest of the article... 


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