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Bloomfield copters offer higher power fighting Canadian wildfires

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BLOOMFIELD -- Firefighters battling those wildfires in Canada that have scorched an estimated one million acres in both Alberta and Saskatchewan are getting some help from above from Bloomfield-based Kaman.

The company's K-MAX Helicopter has been busy fighting the relentless blazes for Kaman's client HeliQwest. About 2,000 firefighters have joined the battle and cooler temperatures have finally helped to diminish the flames.

Kaman says their K-MAX copter has been running missions every day, dumping about 700 gallons of water on hot spots with each flight.

"It is a monstrous fire," said Terry Fogarty, the director of business development at Kaman. "The K-MAX is dropping water on the fire using the external cargo hook and buckets and dropping water where they are told they need to put it."

Fogarty said K-MAX has been a workhorse in the battle versus the blazes, "typically they will fly from sun up to sundown when conditions permit." He said that the K-MAX has been a popular tool in fighting fires (among other tasks) and the company has just been commissioned to build ten more of the copters.