The primary mission of the Eastern Montana Fire Zone (EMFZ) Aviation Program is to support the firefighters through a variety of means including aerial supervision, safe delivery of helitack and smokejumpers, and aerial delivery of fire retardant and water.
The EMFZ utilizes aircraft for a wide variety of activities including operation personnel transport, research and surveys, rehabilitation, aerial ignition, law enforcement support, aerial photography, infrared detection and fire suppression.
Prospective aviation users or detailers may obtain copies of the EMFZ Orientation Guide, EMFZ Aviation Operations Plan, Helicopter Supplement, SEAT Supplement and Air Tactical Supplement. Please submit a formal request through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Single Engine Air Tanker Program
The EMFZ’s Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) Program is one of the most developed and active SEAT programs in the United States. The Miles City Air Base is a former heavy air tanker reload base capable of handling multiple SEAT’s with LC retardant storage.
The EMFZ maintains five satellite reload bases with offices and LC storage facilities. Pre-mixed batch tanks are utilized to enable pilots to load their aircraft prior to arrival of ground support crews. A portable mix trailer and retardant tender are maintained by the EMFZ for prepositioning.
The EMFZ hosts numerous SEAT Manager and Trainee assignments annually. For additional information refer to the EMFZ SEAT Operations Supplement.
The EMFZ Helitack Program is one of the busiest initial attack helibases in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Our organization consists of an exclusive-use Type III Helicopter and a nine-person helitack crew – a crew supervisor, an assistant crew supervisor, a lead crewmember, and six seasonal crewmembers. The crew is based at the Miles City airbase located at Frank Wiley Field.
Our primary mission is to initial attack wildland fires on the BLM and Forest Service land in Southeastern Montana. In addition to our local assignments, we are available for national fire assignments through the Northern Rockies Coordination Center.