UH-1H "Super Huey"

Type 2 Helicopter


Cruise Speed: 125 mph
Manufacturer: Bell Helicopters, Fort Worth, Texas
Gallon Capacity: 360 plus, 324/bucket
Crew: Pilot, two Fire Captains and eight Firefighters

Original Owner

U.S. Army, 1963 to 1975.The UH-1H was used as a troop and cargo transport and specialized operations.

Acquired by CAL FIRE

In 1981, CAL FIRE acquired 12 helicopters from the Department of Defense. They were heavily modified by CAL FIRE for firefighting use and went into service in 1989. CAL FIRE has 9 helicopters available state-wide with two reserve helicopters available from CAL FIRE’S Aviation Management Unit (AMU) in Sacramento to fill in behind scheduled maintenance.


CAL FIRE utilizes the Super Hueys for fast initial-attack on wildland fires. The copters are able to quickly deliver a nine- person fire crew wherever needed as well as battle fires with water/foam drops. The copters are also utilized for medical evacuations, backfiring operations, (internal and external loads), infra-red mapping of incidents and numerous non-fire emergency missions. CAL FIRE helicopter crews are highly trained for”short-haul” rescues. A short- haul involves a crew-member being lowered from a hovering helicopter to an injured or trapped person below. Once hooked to a harness or stokes basket, the victim and crew-member are then carried a short distance to safety.