Specialized firefighting aircraft stationed in Escanaba

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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - If you have driven by the Delta County Airport lately you may have noticed a pair of unusual looking aircraft out on the ramp.

They are a pair of CL-415 water bombers and Scott Miller is one of their pilots.

"This is what they call an amphibious scooper aircraft."

These planes are designed to fight fires and they have been stationed here by the U.S. Forest Service because of the acutely high fire danger in the area.

"This aircraft is particularly useful in this environment because of the water sources are so close and potentially so close to the fire that we can have a turn around as quick as 2 or 3 minutes."

These planes are designed to scoop up over 1600 gallons of water to drop on a fire and they can do that up to 50 times on one tank of fuel under optimal conditions.

But it's not just the two water bombers stationed here to help fight fires.

There is also a command and control aircraft and a helicopter that is equipped with a scoop that allows it to pick up water and release it more accurately than larger aircraft can.

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