Fighting Forest Fires in Calabria with Canadair

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a ship…

It’s all three! In one photo!

Trust me, they’re all there if you look closely enough.

The plane in question is one that drops water on raging forest fires — a “Canadair.”

Here are some closer looks at the plane, albeit out of focus. I haven’t had much practice photographing low-flying planes, obviously. But the sky? Ah! Did someone say endless blue?

Aren’t propellers just precious?The day after these photos, this was the scene on the railing of my balcony:

We were blessed with the wet stuff only for about 7 minutes, though, so the planes were out again the next day–they’re a pretty regular feature around here this time of year unfortunately.

As terrible as it is that we have to deal with the fires, I do rather enjoy following the planes as they make their circuitous routes from the sea and back, over and over again. There’s something rather soothing in the rumble, perhaps my knowing they’re doing their best to keep us all safe.

Sights like this also help ease my mind and soul:

34 Beans of Wisdom to “Fighting Forest Fires in Calabria with Canadair”
  1. Kathy

    I’m loving the blue sky!

    We’re dealing with several forest fires here, as well. Now that the Lake Tahoe fire is out, 3 more have popped up. πŸ™

    Looking forward to the answers to those questions!

  2. Anonymous

    that plane looks like a mesina plane (red and yellow)! I remember watching those planbes fly low and dip into the straits to pick up water and dump on teh fires raging in Calabria. And this year they looked just as bad; the whole area around il pilone is burnt down.

    BTW 4 years ago I was in canada and there were SEVERE forest fires then. They also had very similar looking planes. Vanessa

  3. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    There are quite a few big fires happening in the Western U.S. now. We are in the middle of a big heat wave.

    I wish I could see a sky that color. Unfortunately all I can see is smog. πŸ™

  4. Judith in Umbria

    Yes, that’s what he said. I was convinced my first year here that the Canadians sent fire fighting planes to help out Italy.

  5. sognatrice

    Kathy and NYC, I’ve been following the wildfires in the States as well–just terrible! Glad you both enjoyed the blue sky. I just love that color.

    Vanessa, you gave a good clue on the Canadian planes (confirmed by Judith, I see), but do you mean Forza Messina? Because you know Catanzaro is yellow and red too πŸ˜‰

    Judith, thank you, especially for confirming that my mental images of Mounties flying the things don’t mean I’m crazy–it was just a mnemonic device, only I forgot what it was for, kind of.

  6. KC

    When the page loaded and I saw the first photo, I tried to wipe those spots off my screen! I’ve been hearing the water dropping planes flying overhead very often lately. (Haven’t seen them yet because we still haven’t gone to the beach.) I’ll ask N what he calls them.

    Last week it rained here for about two minutes.

  7. Anonymous

    well i did NOT know that catanzaro was also yellow and red. i guess because their football team isn’t in the same division as Messina’s.

    however, it is pretty impressive watching those planes pick up water and dump it on the fires. Vanessa

  8. sognatrice

    KC, sounds like you were hit with the same “storm” as us–must’ve lost all its power by the time it got up to you πŸ˜‰ I haven’t actually heard the water as the fires are far enough away, but I get an OK view of the water-gathering and an excellent one of the fly-overs.

    Vanessa, I wouldn’t expect anyone outside of CZ, actually, to know the colors of the local squadra. I only know b/c I’ve seen a banner hanging in some bars around here!

    And I completely agree about watching the planes pick up the water–I wish I were closer, in fact, to get a better view.

  9. Sara

    So blue!

    The plane reminds me of a fantastically fun movie by Hayao Miyazaki called Porco Rosso. Miyazaki loves flying and has fond memories of Italy, and both of those facets combine in this film.

  10. Shelby

    beautiful blue skies – glad you got at least the 7 minute wet stuff..

    take care and happy early start to the week!

  11. cheeky

    The shots of the plane are good. Where are the fires? Are they further away?
    I agree with you on the last photo. It have the same sentiment.
    I’m still thinking of a question.
    Knowing me, I will think of an entire interview. Now there’s an idea, hah!

  12. cheeky

    *I have the same sentiment.
    Always doing typos over here. πŸ™‚

  13. A Novelist

    I love when you can see the suns rays through the clouds…what a beautiful picture! πŸ™‚

  14. sognatrice

    Sara, haven’t seen the film, but it sounds like something I’d enjoy πŸ™‚

    Shelby, thank you! I’m hoping for some more rain, but it doesn’t look likely πŸ™

    Cheeky, I didn’t even notice that typo until your next post. Funny how the eyes play tricks. Hmm…an interview…interesting….

    Novelist, glad you enjoyed. We don’t get too many of those views around here as the clouds are usually much higher in the sky, if there are any, so I was happy to see the rays too πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Poppy Fields

    In France those very same planes are called Canadair. Unfortunately, they have to fly over my house a lot in the summer, too. A couple of years ago, we had a big fire in our town, it was very scary to see the flames so close and a relief to see those planes.

  16. sognatrice

    Ah, Cheeky, I forgot to say that the fires are far enough away from me that we wouldn’t be threatened–but if you saw the way the village is set up, we wouldn’t really be threatened anyway. Plus we’re all in stone houses, so that limits fires as well even if something did get close. The planes, though, fly directly over my house.

    Poppy, your comment got me wondering, and I found a little info: the Canadair CL-215 is the older model, but the CL-415 is what ours here look like. And yes, they are nicknamed “Super Scoopers.”

    So they really are Canadese! Glad we’ve got that sorted out πŸ™‚

  17. Paolo

    And they are, clearly, romanisti. (How can there be two giallorossi in Serie A, always freaked me out…)

  18. sognatrice

    Paolo, that’s exactly why CZ stays out of Serie A–you know, so it doesn’t freak anyone out. Respectful buggers, aren’t they?

  19. Aimee

    great photos! we are dealing with major fires too… in fact, the biggest one has made the national news and has closed down the freeway and such. luckily it’s not that close to us, but i can feel the smoke in my lungs and eyes, and see it all over the valley.

    the after photos are finally up! πŸ™‚

  20. sognatrice

    Aimee, I think I was commenting on your site while you were over here πŸ™‚

    Anyway, yes, the smoke can be stifling; we had a big whiff of it the other day when the wind was blowing in from the mountains instead of in from the sea. It just sat over us for hours–yuck!

  21. JennieBoo

    I am so sorry about the fires. How devastating!

    I do like your picture of the clouds with the streams of sunlight, however.

    How’s “the move work” going?

    p.s. I love that color of blue, as well.

  22. jessica in rome

    cool photos! I have to admit I was looking without my glasses and my husband had to point out the plane and the ship…not very observant πŸ™

  23. darlene

    wow, the last picture, is an amazing shot!!

  24. Karina

    What great pictures! I had fun with the “where’s waldo” of the first one, trying to find the boat and the plane!

    And that last picture is really nice…I love pictures of the sun through the clouds, they’re just breath-taking.

  25. sognatrice

    Jennie, it’s best we don’t discuss the move work. It’s going agonizingly slowly, but surely, so there’s some positive at least.

    Jessica, well it does take a good eye; I only knew they were there b/c I saw them live πŸ˜‰

    Darlene and Karina, thanks–glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  26. jennifer

    Beautiful, beautiful photograph of the sky. I also remember the rumble of fire fighting helicopters over the mountains where I lived in Italy last summer. Sounds like another scorcher there…

  27. JoAnn-NL

    Hi S.. ( difficulat name)I just saw you again on Rebecca’s blog (lost you…) I like your ‘kind-of- photography’ Like this birds/plane combination , thats so creative to do.You must also be ‘at the right time,on the right place’.

    With my last photo-exhibition I found out that “watchers” though that its more interesting to ‘search for something’in a photo. I ‘ve been tagged also (couples of times) so I have to start telling something also…

    I’ll start with my (6 years) living in Rome maybe…. Thats why I like the fact that you live in Italy..

    Feel free to visit my blog,

  28. JoAnn-NL

    Hi M, Thanks for answering me that fast….1,2,3,wow! We have the same kind of heavy rain skies here right now. I like your blog… seems to me ‘a lot of work’.

    And uhhh, YES! the ‘newspaperman’ on my blog felt really from his bike, because of the rain and storm.


  29. sognatrice

    Jennifer, look at you…Italy’s already past tense!

    JoAnn, thanks for your comments, and I do hope that you’ll start with your Rome experience–of course I’d be most interested πŸ™‚

  30. Mary

    Great pictures! I’m amazed at the planes dropping water though. We haven’t had rain in ages and have had a few local fires – nothing too major – but, no planes dropping water. The clouds tried to fake us out this morning and it looked like rain, but they just passed over. The sky here, like there, is amazingly blue though. There’s always a bright side.

  31. sognatrice

    Mary, yes, there is always a bright side, isn’t there? Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  32. Frances

    That last picture is just gorgeous.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Waving at you from a hot NYC,

  33. Wanderlust Scarlett


    Propellers are precious as long as they are on planes and not people.

    hee hee.

    And yes, the rain is good, we’ve gotten some here too, lately.
    You got a torrential downpour of questions… so… whenever you’re ready…

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  34. sognatrice

    Frances, I’m trying to send a nice cool breeze your way but I’m not sure you can feel it. We have *extremely* high winds right now, but at least the temp is a bit lower.

    Scarlett, torrential downpour of questions is right. I’m chipping away slowly, slowly….



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