FEATURED COMMENT – Good reasons for not using the Mars water bomber

Re: editorial, ‘Martin Mars a pricey symbol of hope against wildfires’

For everyone who is sharing and commenting on the Media article about the Martin Mars Please stop!!!

I am just one of hundreds flying on these fires and fighting them for a living. The reason why the Mars is not on the fires is because we have equipment that does a faster more efficient job from smaller lakes which can put more water on a fire per hour. Water doesn’t put out a fire the crews do.

Large aircraft such as what you have read about take crews off the fire lines, sit helicopters on the ground for hours and stop precious production and critical gains. Their water comes out at a force which sends embers out and start spot fires it loosens ground, blows over trees creating hazards and ruins guards put in by crews.

For everyone out there please get these ideas out of your heads and realize there is a reason why we don’t use these planes. As for the night ops, this is a great idea in California or in the desert where at night you have long string drops and easy terrain but in BC it doesn’t work that way. There are night crews working and they don’t need any more dangers.

Lastly it is an insult to all of us who are working 18 hours days with no food and no place to sleep while we try to save people’s houses and animals and you sit at home telling us what is best. There is so much more to it then just putting water on a fire otherwise don’t you think we would do just that!!

Please educate yourselves before posting about this topic and or sharing with others as it is not needed. Look at the photo, no plane can fly in that smoke and heat and no water will put out a kilometer wide, 200 foot wall of fire.


About Mel Rothenburger (5882 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on FEATURED COMMENT – Good reasons for not using the Mars water bomber

  1. R A George // July 20, 2017 at 9:26 AM // Reply

    Don,t understand Mr. Biesen’s reply??

  2. tony brumell // July 19, 2017 at 11:35 AM // Reply

    There is something wrong with Mr Menghini’s statement in that Somebody in their wisdom decide that converting a Boeing 747 to a retardent bomber was a good idea.
    “Just sayin”

  3. Ya but why not use it on the wall of Fire where crews and equipment can’t get at, totally understand not using it on smaller areas and also use it to perimeter towns or populated areas, just my thoughts

  4. Stephen Baker // July 16, 2017 at 9:06 AM // Reply

    Wethersfield you like it or not you need those big planes regardless of the dangers to you. I was in a very large fire in the 1966 west of sprout lake and if it had not been for the Mars bombers as Kennedy lake Uculet and Tofeno and the community that lived at Long Beach would have been turned to ashes.

  5. tony brumell // July 15, 2017 at 3:58 PM // Reply

    I do not know who Mr. Menghini is .So I do not know his credentials.You appear to have some knowledge but you seem to want to put yourself in an ivory tower.Some of the things you say are or can be done.I don;t doubt the potential damage that can occur if that much water is dropped at 50 ft.But the damage can be mitigated and the efficacy maintained if the water is dropped at 500 ft.Range ,time and cost may be factors but I’m not ready to junk the old girl just yet.If it can still fly there is a use for it.
    I watched as the Mars dropped it’s load on the Greenstone fire on Beatton ridge and snuffed a wall of flame (of unknown height).The big plane has been dropping water for longer than either of us can remember ,quite effectively.I also watched helicopters and 215’s water drop areas of the Strawberry hill fire in 03 and the fire returned in 30 minutes after being seemingly extinguished..There may not be a perfect instrument for this but there is a valid place for the Mars.
    I do not want to seem ungreatfull.I am truly greatfull for the contributions of the fire crews.

  6. Jeff den Biesen, Salmon Arm // July 15, 2017 at 12:45 PM // Reply

    Thanks Mel for Joe Menghini’s contribution. Joe forgot to mention the idiots who like to raise the Mars when it comes in to scoop up water and take off again. (Seen it on Shuswap Lake when the RCMP had to be called in).

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