SOURCE: EPIC Aviation, LLC

EPIC Aviation, LLC

September 10, 2015 17:25 ET

EPIC Applauds FBO Partners Supporting Aerial Firefighting Operations

Massive Wildfires in Western States Driving Record Demand for Aviation Fuel and Refueling Support at Fixed-Base Operators in the Region

IRVING, TX--(Marketwired - September 10, 2015) - EPIC Aviation LLC, a leading fuel supplier to the general and commercial aviation industries, has dispatched more than two-million gallons of aviation fuels since the beginning of July to Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs) and fire bases supporting aerial firefighting operations in the Western United States.

Aviation fuel and ground-support resources used in aerial firefighting operations have been in very high demand with multiple wildfires burning at the same time within California, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington. EPIC Aviation alone has shipped enough aviation fuel to the region to fill more than 44 Boeing 777 jumbo jets. Fuel that is now being used to power DC-10 air tankers and UH-1H Super Huey helicopters used by local, state and federal agencies.

EPIC works closely with its partner FBOs in the region to assist their efforts in supporting firefighting operations in the Pacific Northwest. The company has significantly ramped-up its operations to meet the demand for aviation fuel by FBOs in the regions serving as firebases. Locations such as Redding Jet Center at Redding Airport (KRDD), Gemini Flight Support at Castle Airport (KMER) in Atwater, California and Glacier Jet Center at Glacier Park International (KGPI) in Kalispell, Montana, have all seen significant action since the 2015 fire season began.

Mike Talbot, general manager at Glacier Jet Center in Kalispell, MT, reports that his organization has been directly supporting firefighting operations with fuel, maintenance and facilities since July 21st when the Reynolds Creek Fire started in Glacier National Park. "We're working 24/7 to meet the demands of the brave firefighting crews and EPIC, our fuel supplier, has carefully balanced supply and demand despite the significant challenges at hand," said Talbot.

Talbot said his team is focused on finding solutions despite the fact having no control over highway closures, refinery shortages and reduced visibility grounding firefighting operations. Some welcome relief came when the Governor of Montana declared a State of Emergency on August 16. The governor's declaration cleared the way for Talbot's team at Glacier Jet Center further stretch supply lines to locations as far away as Edmonton, Alberta, and Newcastle, Wyoming. "To this point, we've managed to overcome every hurdle thrown our way and I'm glad to have EPIC as our fuel partner," said Talbot.

Located close to the Oregon/California border, Redding Jet Center has had staff on-call at the airport around the clock to aid with the ground-handling, maintenance and refueling operations. "We're here to provide support however we can to the thousands of brave men and women who are combatting fires in the region," said Doug Coble, General Manager at Redding Jet Center in Redding, CA.

Another command-post in the aerial battle to contain the fires is located in central California at a former U.S. Air Force Base. Castle Airport, in Atwater, California, is now a public airport, but it continues its fighting role in a new form, this time as one of the largest firefighting bases in the West.

Jim Price, owner of Gemini Flight Support FBO at Castle, says that his base is typically given very short-notice from various aerial firefighting companies when fires erupt. "At times, we are resource-poor due to the high demands, especially when the firefighting equipment changes from turbine to piston engine aircrafts. However, EPIC Aviation has kept us fueled even with short-notices and high-demands throughout the season," said Price.

This year's fire-season has been extremely challenging, requiring EPIC to develop creative solutions and alternatives for fuel supply and delivery. "We've used multiple modes of delivery, from refineries, to terminals, to railcars to trucks over long distances to form a virtual 'bucket brigade' of aviation fuel to safely supply the aerial firefighting operations run out of our FBO's facilities.

"At times the demand overwhelmed the normal supply and logistics infrastructure in the region, so we pulled in fuel from outside the region, including Canada," said Lee Jones, vice president of supply for EPIC. Jones said that his team at EPIC are inspired by the efforts of FBO crews and will work around the clock to ensure supply to these bases, as well as its regular customers' fixed-base operations in the region, go uninterrupted.

Based on the current weather conditions and progress combatting the existing fires, the expectations are that the increased demand for aviation fuel could continue for several more weeks. "We stand committed and ready to support our FBO customers who are doing everything within their power to aid in the massive effort to contain and extinguish the multiple blazes," said Jones.

About EPIC
EPIC Aviation LLC is a global supplier of aviation fuels, supplies and services to airlines, air cargo operators, general and corporate aviation, Fixed Base Operators as well as government and military customers around the world. Our diverse fuel supply network of over 300-plus supply points utilizes major refineries and all modes of transport to securely deliver quality-tested fuel to meet the needs of global aviation. EPIC helps to fuel our partners' success through high-quality customer service, industry-leading technology and responsible environmental stewardship. The EPIC FBO Network® and UVair FBO network locations can be found throughout North America and beyond. For more information please see EPIC online at www.EPICaviationllc.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Ryan Mikolasik
    EPIC Communications
    469-291-8612 (O)
    817-705-5378 (M)
    Email contact