RENO — Nevada Division of Forestry this week signed a three-year contract for air support during wildland firefighting throughout the state.
Rutledge Airborne Applications, a veteran-owned and Indiana-based company, earned the contract to fly single engine air tankers, also known as SEATs, to assist firefighters with aerial fire suppression.
Because of their small size, SEATs can take off from smaller airports such as those in Minden and Elko, fly multiple missions within an hour and get into areas where other aircraft traditionally cannot. They also have a greater range and can fly faster than helicopters currently used by NDF.
“We can go virtually anywhere, and we’ll work out from whatever base is closest to the fire to keep us efficient,” Cade Boeger, a pilot for Rutledge, said.
The first two SEATs arrived Sunday in Reno and are set to deploy as needed.