Most Active Stories
- Earthquake Swarm Continues To Shake Central Idaho
- Free Copies Of Controversial Sherman Alexie Novel Available To Meridian Students
- A Landslide Buried Boise In Mud 55 Years Ago, Scientists Say It Could Happen Again
- How Boise's 1959 Mudslide Led To Lasting Protections For City's Foothills
- What Do Idaho Voters Want? Without Recent Public Opinion Polls, It's Hard To Tell
Tue July 9, 2013
Company Wants To Test Amphibious Russian Airplane To Fight Idaho Wildfires
A company aims to test an amphibious Russian firefighting plane this summer on one of Idaho's wildfires.
David Baskett, president of California-based International Emergency Services, hopes to eventually win lucrative U.S. government contracts for the Beriev BE-200 to assist in firefighting.
Last month, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter told Baskett he wants to observe the BE-200, which can fly 400 miles per hour and scoop 3,500 gallons of water from a lake within seconds.
Baskett says the BE-200 can strike at wildfires quickly.
But Otter said any visit should be coordinated with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.
There, officials have so far been reluctant to employ such water-scooping aircraft.
The U.S. Forest Service recently announced plans to spend millions on faster, bigger tankers, but the BE-200 wasn't among winners.
2013 Wildfire Season