McClellan, CA – CAL FIRE will conduct night aerial firefighting training for helicopters at Davis Creek Reservoir (Yolo County) and Lake Berryessa (Napa County) from June 2 to June 16, 2024.

Ensuring night fire suppression capabilities

These exercises are critical for maintaining CAL FIRE's capabilities when visibility is reduced. Pilots and crew members will practice essential skills in navigation, communication and coordinated operations between different aircraft.

What to expect

  • Increased Activity: Residents near Davis Creek Reservoir and Lake Berryessa may see and hear low-flying helicopters and Uncrewed Aerial System aircraft operating late afternoon, extending into the night hours until midnight.
  • Compliance and Safety: All flights will be conducted in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and CAL FIRE safety protocols.
  • Noise Levels: While there may be a temporary increase in noise levels, CAL FIRE is committed to minimizing disruption to the surrounding communities.

Importance of Night Training

By conducting exercises at night, pilots and crews gain valuable experience simulating real-world scenarios involving water drops, navigation, communication, and coordinated operations under night vision goggles (NVG). This training enhances their overall proficiency and ensures a unified, safe response during fire suppression at night.

CAL FIRE appreciates the understanding and cooperation of the public as we conduct this important training exercise.

To learn more about the CAL FIRE Aviation Program visit us at CAL FIRE Aviation Program.

Editor's note: CAL FIRE helicopter pilots and crews conducted training exercises using night vision goggles, enhancing their ability to protect communities during any hour in the spring of 2024. The Aviation Division, based at McClellan in Sacramento, is readying pilots and crews for nighttime operations in Northern California.

YouTube video