Montana-based Bridger Aerospace has sent both tanker 281 and 282 to Grand Rapids, Minnesota on deployment this week. The crews arrived in Minnesota Thursday and did not have to wait long before being deployed on fires.
The Minnesota deployment is a return of sorts for tankers 281 and 282 that initially worked in Minnesota in their former lives before being converted from the cL-215 variant to the CL-415EAF by Bridger. Both tankers had served numerous US fire seasons in Minnesota in their former lives working for the Canadian government, who would contract the aircraft to head south for the summer months.
It is at the time of press unknown how long the scoopers will be based in Minnesota with the Minnesota Department of natural resources, which will depend on the fire severity in the area. Numerous other assets are already in position in the northern state, including multiple SEAT aircraft and several types of helicopters equipped with Bambi Buckets.