Avalanche Control

2019-09-24T10:56:42-07:00Categories: Services|Tags: , |

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Avalanche Control

mountain avalanche helicopter services

Helicopter avalanche control work can be a very challenging flying environment due to the lack of visual references, weather causing poor visibility and mountain conditions. Safety is always our primary goal.

Yellowhead Helicopters’ pilots have years of experience providing avalanche control services for the BC Ministry of Transportation and various avalanche control companies. YHL helps to reduce the hazards our roadways, railways, power infrastructure and resorts.

Wildfires in Canada 2018

2019-12-04T11:01:48-08:00Categories: News|Tags: |

Wildfires in Canada 2018

Excerpt from the website Vertical Magazine, a great article about the 2018 BC wildfire season. The full news article can be viewed at their website Vertical

wildfire photo news

“A heavy wildfire season across much of Canada appears to have reached its peak on the West Coast, with British Columbia declaring a state of emergency as spreading wildfires saw more than 100 helicopters providing aerial firefighting support throughout the province.

As of Aug. 14, there were 469 fires burning across B.C. – 255 of them being out of control. Across Canada, B.C. has been hit by the most wildfires (1,677) and seen the most hectares burned (373,801) of any province so far this year, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC).

“I think pretty much every helicopter in Western Canada is engaged in the wildfires right now,” said Robert Gallagher, owner and president of Coldstream Helicopters based in Vernon, British Columbia.”…

…”According to Charlie Mooney, director of corporate development at Yellowhead Helicopters in Valemount, British Columbia, virtually all the smoke being produced from B.C. wildfires is staying over top of the province right now.


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“I was talking to one of the fire centers a few days ago, and in one of the complexes up near Quesnel they had 25 helicopters in total that they had on hire in that one area,” Mooney said. “But it was so smoky there were only two of them that got out to be able to work — the rest of them were sitting on the ground.”

Yellowhead Helicopters has 13 out of its nearly 40 aircraft on contract with the province for wildfire support, which include the Bell 212HP, Bell 212 Single, Bell 206 B3, Bell 407HP, and Airbus AS350 B2.

Mooney told Vertical some of the aircraft the company has been able to put out on fires were actually scheduled for other jobs. But because of the extreme fire hazard and fires, some of the projects have been postponed until it’s safe for crews to be out in the backcountry.

The province currently has 108 helicopters in the air to support firefighting operations.”…

…”Elsewhere in Canada, Ontario has also been hit hard by wildfires, with 1,060 fires burning 233,089 hectares from April 1 to Aug. 14. The 10-year average from April 1 to Aug. 14 is 597 fires, with 2017 seeing 561 fires for the same time period.

“It’s been a very active fire season for us, especially in northeastern Ontario . . . we haven’t seen this type of fire season here in the northeast in quite some time,” said Shayne McCool, fire information officer at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

“We’ve seen a lot more high-profile fires that have impacted people and their properties much more than they have in [the] recent past.”

The above-average number of wildfires in Ontario has meant more helicopters in the air for fire suppression, monitoring purposes and ground crew support.

“Helicopters are a major part of our operation,” McCool said. “They’re utilized as a resource for transporting people/fire attack crews in and out, they could be used for fire suppression, [and] they could be used for lookout purposes to keep an eye on the fire situation to ensure our people are safe.”

Aircraft come in handy especially when a fire starts in a remote location with no road access, he added.”…

Read the entire article at Vertical Magazine’s website.

Prince George SAR is pleased to announce…

2019-12-04T11:08:37-08:00Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prince George SAR is pleased to announce…

…the start of our availability to provide Helicopter Long Line Rescue.

02 June 2017

Prince George Search and Rescue (PGSAR) supports Police, Fire and Ambulance look for those missing and rescue those who are stranded or injured. PGSAR has a number of specialty teams to support emergency services such as Swiftwater, Avalanche, Rope and Tracking. Helicopter Long Line Rescue was a need identified in the northern part of the province. The closest provincial resource is in the Okanagan. PGSAR has been working on this program since May, 2015. It will complement the other specialty rescue teams PGSAR offers in the region.

Helicopter Long Line Rescue, is a well-recognized rescue technique practiced throughout BC, and the world. The team members are trained to be harnessed to a rope, attached to a helicopter. It is capable of transporting or “slinging” a rescuer and a subject into and out of the steep, heavily forested mountainous terrain that we have surrounding Prince George.

“It’s very gratifying and proud accomplishment for PGSAR to be in a position to have a Helicopter long line rescue system as an another valuable rescue tool.” said Jeff Smedley, PGSAR Search Manager “The commitment of our volunteer members, hours of hard work and training has definitely paid off for the team. Fundraising, training and meeting provincial guidelines has taken a lot of work. This newly minted team is made up of 10 members who will continue to train to meet the standards set out by Transport Canada, Emergency Management BC and the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association. The group has been training since November 2016, with the funding of the $90,000 from the Province of BC.”

PGSAR has trained 10 members, purchased the equipment, formed a partnership with Yellowhead Helicopters and became operational as of June 1st, 2017. The Helicopter Long Line Rescue members will offer rescue services during any time of the year.

This tool will be available to support SAR operations in Northern BC. This is the first long line rescue team based in North Central British Columbia allowing rapid access and evacuation of injured subjects, and quick responses to a rescuer who may need assistance. This program will increase the safety of the team, and the people we rescue.

Prince George Search and Rescue joins 12 other SAR groups in BC capable of this type of rescue.

Read “My Nechako Valley Now” news article here.


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