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Super Scooper firefighting planes return to LA

Two Super Scooper airplanes, Bombardier CL-415, are on lease to Los Angeles County Fire Department through November 2012.
Two Super Scooper airplanes, Bombardier CL-415, are on lease to Los Angeles County Fire Department through November 2012.
DOUGLAS MORRISON, L.A. County Fire Department

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September brings heightened fire danger, so it’s the time of year when Los Angeles County brings in two Super Scooper airplanes.

The bright yellow and red-painted planes can scoop up a load of 1,600 gallons of water into their bellies while skimming a lake, then drop it onto brush fires. They can land on land or water.

This is the 19th year the county has the leased water-dropping planes. They cost $2.75 million for three months.

This year’s models come from a fire department in Quebec, Canada.

The Bombardier CL-415s will be in the county through November. They are based at Van Nuys Airport and augment the county’s fleet of ten helicopters.