Douglas A/B-26 Invader

The Steve Dodge collection

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Above, this is from my Grandfathers collection of slides when he was an Assistant Ranger in Lytton British Columbia.




The photographer A.G. (Art) Kent was an Assistant Forest Ranger with the British Columbia Forest Service from 1941 to 1969 in Lytton BC which is typically Canada’s hotspot with afternoon winds just to keep you on your toes. At the start of his career Art was a patrolman with a water tank truck but with 2 rail lines and the TransCanada Highway snaking along the Fraser River Canyon, fires often started where no vehicle could access. This is where the converted WW II bombers proved indispensable as their payload of fire retardant guarded the fires until men and equipment could attack them directly. These planes carried retardant not water as there aren’t many lakes of suitable length and depth in the rugged interior of BC, so this A 26 had been loaded at the Tanker base located in Kamloops which was a 3 hour drive away by vehicle and a quick hour trip by bomber.

Conair is still contracted by the BCFS and they just celebrated their 40th anniversary.

The red and white aircraft is an Douglas A26 Invader, which is an ex-World War II bomber that Conair phased out in 1985 and replaced with Firecats.

The white aircraft with the yellow tail is a TBM Avenger which is also an early WW II dive bomber that was used by Conair until the mid to late seventies.

Steve Dodge RFT

District Manager
Quesnel District
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations