SDG&E’s Skycrane Helicopter Serves as “Huge” Ally for Firefighters

Skycrane Helped Firefighters Douse Several Fires in 2016

The San Diego region puts a premium on being prepared for emergency situations. This includes being ready to respond to increased wildfire risk that comes with Santa Ana winds, hot weather and dry conditions.

Knowing the regional fire risk, SDG&E once again brought back one of the largest helicopters in the world, the Erickson Skycrane, to serve as a “huge” ally in helping our firefighters knock-down fires.

Putting Some Muscle into the Firefighting Effort

The Skycrane was based at Gillespie Field from July to the end of November as part of an ongoing partnership between the City and County of San Diego and SDG&E. 

With the capacity to carry up to 2,650 gallons per drop, which is quadruple the capacity of a regular fire-fighting helicopter, the Skycrane can deliver a knockout punch to fires before flames have a chance to grow and also to make accurate drops in rugged, hard to reach terrain.

In 2016, the massive helicopter was called upon to fight seven fires, completing 65 water drops in all, totaling nearly 65,000 gallons of water. 

Working Together to  Keep San Diego Safe

Bringing the Skycrane to the region is just one of many partnerships that SDG&E has launched to help keep residents and communities safe during fire season. Learn more about our proactive approach to fire prevention at