Aerial view of the Reno-Stead Airport taken from an aircraft flying overhead.

Information for pilots and users of Reno-Stead Airport.

The Stead Tanker Base is Open for the Fire Season

SEAT (Single Engine Air Tanker) at Stead

I know that those of you who are out here at RTS a lot have seen the tanker base is now operational for the season.  For those who have not been here for a week or so, there are now two SEAT’s here and staffing is up at the BLM base on the East Ramp.

I also got this message today from Chris Smallcomb at the Reno National Weather Service that I thought I’d share for situational awareness on fire danger:

“After extensive consultation with fire services fuels experts in our service area, vegetation in many of our fire weather zones are at critical levels such that Red Flag Warnings are now an option if conditions warrant. Below is a slide summarizing all that. The ongoing heat is just making things even drier – and fuel dryness conditions are 4 to 6 weeks ahead of normal.

Fire Danger Chart from the Reno Aviation Weather Service

Whenever we start issuing actual Watches and Warnings, we’ll start our morning briefing calls as well with email announcements ahead of time.

Also: We’ll be sending out our Freakout weather briefing later this morning but 1) keep an eye on t-storms today some of which could produce enough lightning for new starts, and 2) we’re still tracking breezy winds and low humidity Sunday-Tuesday next week that could get into critical levels.”

Like TSA says when you are passing through a commercial airport, “See something, Say something”.  If you are out and about flying as see fire/smoke, report it to your flight following so they can pass it on.

Also, be mindful here on the airport because we have a fair bit of vegetation that can burn, too.  I am thankful that we have BLM as an airport partner, but would rather not see them too busy flying!!

As with past years, I will let you know if our tankers get activated.  We’ll post info on the AWOS for you, and if the tower is opened to support fire fighting, we’ll NOTAM and Bulletin the freq’s and procedures.

Mike Scott
Reno-Stead Airport