news and events » related news

Related News Header

Related News Item

return to Related News

50-year celebration Next Week in Willows

by webmaster |

AUGUST 04 -- WILLOWS, CA: On August 13 at the Willows Airport, the Mendocino National Forest will host an anniversary day marking the 50th year of aerial firefighting.

Early airtankers at WillowsThe anniversary day will honor the original flyboys of aerial firefighting in a tribute to 50 years of fighting fire from the air. In 1955, local pilots Floyd and Vance Nolta, of the Willows Flying Service, successfully modified a Stearman biplane to drop water on fires. Airtanker number 1 was in business.

The first drop on a fire was during the Mendenhall Fire, August 13, 1955, on the Mendocino. Vance Nolta flew the Stearman and dropped six loads of water on the fire. It was considered so successful that he worked another fire the very next day.