The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) aviation program plays a significant role in fire fighting efforts each year on public lands, not only across Arizona, but wherever pilots and firefighters may be called to duty throughout the nation. But the BLM’s aviation management program reaches far beyond its heroic firefighting efforts. The program’s mission includes supporting wildland fire and prescribed fire operations, disaster response, wildlife census, wild horse and burro operations, habitat management, range survey, cadastral survey, law enforcement, range land management, photo mapping and search and rescue.

To accomplish the fire program’s mission, pilots utilize a variety of aircraft including helicopters, Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), heavy airtankers, air tactical aircraft, smokejumper aircraft and large transport aircraft.

Multiple SEATs at SEAT Base

SEAT Program

It is critical that BLM’s wildland firefighters have a variety of effective tools at their disposal. The agency has used SEAT firefighting aircraft for many years to perform outstanding work in sustaining wildland firefighting operations. The aircraft can utilize their inherent speed, mobility, and strength during initial and extended attack situations. SEATs are highly mobile and can be set up at remote bases and local airstrips, decreasing turnaround time between drops.

Fire & Aviation

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Aviation Facilities

BLM pilots use aviation facilities at existing airports and landing strips.  Potential locations and their capacities are analyzed at the local, state and national levels to determine if an aircraft base can safely support BLM aviation needs.  When a base is identified, specialists work with local airport authorities and governmental entities to either use the site as a temporary base, or in some cases, to develop a permanent BLM aviation facility at the airport.

Helicopter Bucketwork

Arizona Strip District Aviation

Moki Helitack Firefighters Walking to Helicopter



Located in St. George, UT, the Arizona Strip District utilizes the St. Geroge  municipal airport. This air facility is host to a helitack crew (Moki Interagency Helitack) .



Color Country Interagency Dispatch's Aviation page. Click Here

Gila District Aviation

VFR Map of SAD

The Gila District manages and is host to a SEAT Base located at the Safford airport in Safford, Arizona. This air facility provides interagency retardant support for SEATs as well as support for helicopter and fixed wing operations through Southeastern and East Central Arizona.


Tucson Interagency Dispatch. Click Here

Phoenix District Aviation

VFR Map of IGA

The Phoenix District has two aviation facilities, one shared and one primary.  The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, AZ is part of the Phoenix Interagency Fire Center and shared with  interagency partners.

The Weaver Mountain Fire and Aviation facility, located north of Wickenburg, Arizona, is BLM Arizona’s newest air facility.  They host to a helitack crew (Weaver Mountain Helitack) and helicopter, which supports aviation operations throughout central Arizona.

Phoenix Interagency Dispatch's Aviation page. Click Here

Colorado River District Aviation

SEAT Doing a Retardant Drop

The Colorado River District's primary aviation facility is located at the Kingman airport in Kingman, Arizona. This air facility hosts helicopter and fixed wing operations as well as retardant support for SEATs.

Prescott Interagency Dispatch's Aviation page. Click Here

3 SEATs at a SEAT Base

Aviation Links