Engine and helicopter crews from the U.S. Forest Service's Chantry Flat station perform a water drop and other firefighting drills in Santa Anita Canyon north of Sierra Madre. The combined drills, in which the engine crew practices reloading the helicopter's water tanks quickly and safely, are performed only two to three times a year because of the high cost of operating the helicopter, supervisor Vince Romo said.
In recent years, the drills have provided the only opportunity for the two units to work together. "We've been lucky," Romo said. "We haven't had a big fire up here for three or four years." The crew also provides search-and-rescue services and first aid for visitors to Santa Anita Canyon.