A Lockheed Electra L188 owned by Airspray Ltd and the Conair Group Inc. at the Williams Lake Airport for the fire season. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo.

Williams Lake Airport hosts air tanker owned by Airspray Ltd. for the fire season

A Lockheed Electra L188 owned by Airspray Ltd and the Conair Group Inc. is stationed at the Cariboo Fire Centre and the Williams Lake Airport for the fire season and visible from the nearby terminal.

Cariboo Fire Centre information officer Natasha Broznitsky said the plane is a turbine powered, four-engine, heavy air tanker that carries a crew of two pilots — a captain and first officer.

“It was first built in the 1950s for overseas airliner use and has had a retardant tank added for firefighting,” Broznitsky said. “It is land-based, delivering retardant to fires from airport tanker bases.”

Used in B.C. since 1994, the plane has a payload of 11,365 litres or over 13 tonnes of retardant, she added.

It cruises to fires at 560 kilometres an hour and drops retardant at 225 km/h.

“It excels at quick responses over long distances, delivering large volumes, and quickly building retardant lines to contain fire spread,” Broznitsky said.