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The primary mission of the BLM Central Montana Fire Zone’s Aviation Program is to provide safe and efficient initial and extended attack aviation support for the BLM and our interagency fire partners in central and northcentral Montana.
All air operations are based at the Lewistown airport (LWT) co-located with our zone dispatch center and fire station.
Aircraft based in Lewistown include:
- 1 exclusive use Bell L-4 Type III helicopter with 9 person helitack crew. This aircraft is a shared contract with Phoenix Arizona BLM and is typically moved to Lewistown in mid-July.
- 1 exclusive use 500S Twin Commander Type I Air Attack Platform with ATGS.
- 1 on-call Cessna 206 Type III Air Attack/Recon aircraft.
- 1 on-call Bell L-4 type III helicopter.
During times of high fire danger, typically August and September, one or more variable term or on-call single engine air tankers (SEATs) are based in Lewistown.
When activity or conditions warrant, smoke jumpers and Type II and Type I helicopters can be pre-positioned in Lewistown.