Fire Hazard Reduction & Management

MI Helicopters can employ aerial incendiary methods for hazard reduction and fire management. The use of these aerial options, when compared to ground lighting, has been shown to be safer and more effective.

Aerial incendiary methods have many advantages over ground based fire lighting such as the ability to cover large areas within a short timeframe and the obvious advantage of having a birds eye view of the task at hand. Airborne fire lighting also results in less personnel on the fire ground and the fewer people in a fire environment, the better! Another advantage over lighting from the ground is that it can be observed and mapped (GPS/moving map) from the air. If the fire jumps a firebreak the ground crew can be quickly directed to the affected area.

MI Helicopters offers a range of helicopters to suit all environments with knowledgeable, experienced pilots.

The Red Dragon Incendiary Device

The Red Dragon is a helicopter-mounted device that is used to dispense aerial spheres that ignite controlled or prescribed burns. The primary function of the Red Dragon dispenser is to inject a measured amount of ethylene glycol into ‘Dragon Eggs’ (which initiates a timed exothermic reaction). The dispenser then expels the primed spheres from the aircraft.

The Red Dragon is controlled using a hand-held remote which allows the operator to select various dispensing speeds. This level of control represents a significant advancement over the past where the helicopter would have to change speed to achieve the same result. In addition,this rate control enables the dispersal of Dragons Eggs in perfect concentration levels, to match the terrain below.

The Red Dragon dispenser provides a number of unique advantages over older systems including:

  • Seven different drop rates that can be instantly selected by turning a dial.
  • Micro-processor controlled motor/feed gates that eliminate jamming via automatic jam detection and clearing.
  • Fixed-displacement pumps that deliver the same amount of chemical, no matter what speed is selected.
  • A safety system that utilizes a back-up battery to ensure on-board fire protection at all times.
  • Variable dispense rate from 25-175 eggs per minute.
  • Quick purge system for maximum safety.
  • Smaller size frees up more room inside aircraft.
  • Increased hopper capacity provides enhanced performance.
  • Variable speed settings which can be changed on the fly.


For quickly covering large areas of remote country for controlled burns, back burning whilst fire fighting or obtaining a cleaner burn on pulled country, SKY FIRE is the answer!

SKY FIRE is a drip torch style incendiary device designed for use with helicopters. The lighter is slung beneath the aircraft and uses a revolutionary controlled flow gel. This is pumped from the nozzle at the tail of the lighter through a pair of igniters. The gel ignites as it leaves the lighter and will remain alight on the ground for up to five minutes after it lands.

The gel pump and igniters are both controlled from the cabin of the helicopter during flight. Flow rates for the gel are also adjusted from the cabin depending on the type of operation. The capacity of the tank is 80 litres, coverage varies widely depending on the type of work. A full tank could light several thousand acres of pulled country or light a 25 km line on a controlled burn.

MI Helicopters utilise a computer based mapping system to ensure planning accuracy. In preflight briefing sessions with the client, the exact location of the intended burn is assessed. This information is transferred onto an electronic map and uploaded into the aircraft GPS as a flight plan for the pilot to follow. Maps can be printed before flight indicating the proposed path and post flight with the actual path superimposed over the top.

Water Hog Firefighting Bucket

MI Helicopters also utilises the Water Hog fire fighting bucket for fire suppression activities. Water Hog buckets are used by fire fighting agencies around the world and have been developed and manufactured in Australia. The Water Hog provides significant advances over other bucket systems available including :

  • Single Composite Valve
  • 500 mm (19.6”) Diameter Composite Base
  • Removable Stainless Steel Rim
  • Stainless Steel PVC Coated Certified Rigging
  • Compact 24 VDC Control Box
  • Multi Drop / Variable Drop Function as Standard
  • No Control Head