Night Aerial Firefighting Operations

Report on 2019 Night Operations Trials

Report Front PageThe CoE has released a report on 2019 Night Helicopter Operations Trials.  This document reports on Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) night helicopter operations training and trials conducted during 2019. The goal is to share what we have learned and discuss what additional research is needed to advance the program.


Night aerial firefighting using helicopters with buckets has never before been attempted in Colorado. DFPC conducted night flying trials in 2019 to (1) evaluate if it can be done safely, (2) train personnel in night bucket operations, and (3) build a basis of operations before performing further evaluation to determine if night operations benefit firefighters and communities.

Read the full report here.

For more information contact Dave Toelle.


Night Aerial Firefighting Operations

The CoE is investigating the goal of bringing safe, effective, and efficient night aerial firefighting operations to Colorado. A Night Aerial Firefighting Operations Summit was held on January 27–28, 2016, and aircraft operators, vendors, and experts in the field of night aerial firefighting operations provided the CoE with input and recommendations to help shape and guide Colorado’s night operations program.

CoE staff members visited agencies performing night operations in Southern California and continue to research the viability of night operations, both fixed- and rotary-wing, in Colorado.

January 24, 2018: The CoE has released the Night Aerial Firefighting Operations Interim Report (CoE‐18‐001.8). This report details results from current investigations and next steps in which the CoE is involved.

Night Aerial Firefighting Operations Summit

Thanks to all of the attendees and sponsors for a great summit. The conversations and presentations were open, frank, and informative.

Check back for more information on the results and the next steps. 

Night Operations Summit Presentations

Day 1 Day 2
USFS Night Aerial Firefighting Operations RAVCO K-MAX Unmanned Aerial Firefighting
Dispatch During Night Operations ASU Night Vision
Ventura County Night Aerial Firefighting Operations Global SuperTanker Services
LA County Night Operations Helicopter Express Night Operations
UAS Fire Briefing  

Rifle Community TV Video of the Summit











Day Two