Beginning as soon as Thursday, June 14, several specialized aircraft will be used to support the Badger Creek Fire suppression efforts. The aircraft, commonly called Super Scoopers, are fixed wing aircraft that fly at high rates of speed (approximately 100 mph) just above the surface of a lake or reservoir. These aircraft can scoop up large amounts of water into a tank in the ‘belly’ of the plane. The aircraft can collect as much as 1,600 gallons of water in about ten seconds. These planes are valuable in expediting the time it takes to load water and strategically make water drops on fires in nearby locations.
Due to the proximity to the eastern edge of the fire, the Super Scoopers will be using Lake Hattie to fill their tanks. Because of this emergency suppression activity, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office are prohibiting boats from using Lake Hattie. Fire managers and cooperating agencies understand the impact this has on recreational opportunities at the lake; however, it is a necessary precaution for the safety of boaters and firefighting pilots.