featured graphic for Yorba Linda Water Distrtict during COVID-19

Yorba Linda Water District Heli-Hydrant enhances Blue Ridge wildfire response

The Yorba Linda Water District’s award-winning Marc Marcantonio Heli-Hydrant supported aerial firefighters battling the Blue Ridge Fire. The Heli-Hydrant reduced response time for helicopters because YLWD strategically placed it in the wildland-urban interface zone affected by the Blue Ridge Fire.

The Boeing Chinook CH-47 helitankers filled at the Heli-Hydrant with roughly 2,000 gallons of water in 56 seconds. They made drops on spot fires in the Chino Hills area and returned in four minutes to repeat this process to safeguard life, property, and the environment.

“Yorba Linda has been hit incredibly hard with wildfires in the past. We’ve worked hand-in-hand with local fire authorities to save critical time and aid in effective firefighting,” Board President Phil Hawkins said. “We applaud the tireless work of the Orange County Fire Authority and Cal Fire in protecting our community and its residents. We also applaud our Emergency Operations team who worked 24/7 to maintain water pressure and flow through the entire water system and made sure first responders had plenty of water to fight fires in Yorba Linda.”

In November of 2008, over 200 homes were lost in the Freeway Complex fire and cost Yorba Linda over $200 million in damage. It brought devastation and loss of property to ratepayers in the YLWD service area so YLWD set out to work on an innovation that would give firefighters a tool for fighting a wildfire incident. Rather than having to fly long distances to refill the helicopter’s water tanks, the heli-hydrant now serves as a water source to get first responders the resources they need faster than ever. In the upcoming year, YLWD plans to build more heli-hydrants throughout the district to give the community increased protection from wildfires. Learn more about the Marc Marcantonio Heli-Hydrant here.

This article was released by the Yorba Linda Water District.