US Forest Service allows night aerial firefighting in SoCal

Wildfire Continues To Burn In San Bernardino National Forest

David McNew/Getty Images

Tanker 910, a DC-10 airliner modified for aerial firefighting, drops fire retardant on the 24-square-mile Butler 2 Fire on September 18, 2007 near Fawnskin, California. The U.S. Fire Service announced that SoCal will now be able to do this type of firefight at night.

Congressional representatives say the U.S. Forest Service has decided to allow nighttime aerial attacks on wildfires in Southern California.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Adam Schiff and Buck McKeon announced the change of policy on Thursday.

The Forest Service has previously restricted aerial firefighting operations to daylight hours for safety reasons.

The issue has been under discussion since the 2009 Station Fire burned 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest. Some critics of the firefighting effort contend it could have been contained when it was just a small blaze if nighttime aerial firefighting had been allowed.

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