Our goal is to maintain pilot proficiency and provide mission-capable aircraft to support departmental missions efficiently and safely. The Aviation Section operates and maintaines a fleet of ten aircraft. The fleet consists of seven helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft.
- Three fixed wing Cessna 180 aircraft are used primarily for fire patrol/detection and personnel transportation. They are located in Helena, Missoula and Kalispell.
- Five Bell UH-1H (Huey) type 2 helicpters are used to support DNRC initial attack fire suppression program. Three are located in Helena, Missoula and Kalispell to provide direct protection initial attack. The other two are located in Helena for state wide deployment on an as needed basis.
- Two light Bell 206 B-III type 3 helicopters are stationed in Helena. One is owned by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). DNRC maintains this aircraft and provides pilot services to DEQ. In return, DNRC resereves the right to use this aircraft for fire missions. The second light helicopter is used as a backup aircraft or for additional coverage.
The UH1H (Huey) helicopters are Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP). DNRC maintains a shop facility on the Helena Airport site where these former military helicopters are rebuilt and maintained. During fire season, these helicopters typically carry a bucket, long line, and come with a fuel tender support truck for refueling and supplies. They are used primarily to support initital attack forces and are assigned to a duty station in Helena, Kalispell or Missoula.
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2705 Spurgin Road, Missoula, MT 59804
Phone: (406) 542-4300
Fax: (406) 542-4217