A petition is gathering signatures to plead with the B.C. Government to reactivate the old MARS water bombers, which are currently doing nothing.
Port Alberni’s Chris Alemany says the province didn’t renew the contract for the water bomber as it moved to a new, smaller, style of firefighting plane.
“The number one thing is capacity. They are the worlds largest bombers. They can drop the most water on the fire in the smallest amount of time especially in initial attack. They can knock out a fire like nothing else. I think that is their biggest asset.”
Alemany says there are two MARS bombers just sitting there doing nothing, although one will take some work to get it ship shape.
As for the other: “Hawaii MARS, it fought fires as recently as last year. It is just sitting up high and dry on land. Without a contract, the company of course isn’t going to be able to get it ready to go. So it needs a contract so that it can get it going and be up in the air.”
He says his petition has garnered about 1,000 signatures in its first 24 hours on Change.org.