Recognizing the higher risk of wildfires this fall, San Diego Gas & Electric said it is contracting for both an Erickson Air-Crane helitanker and a Helistream Type II helicopter through November.

The regional utility, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, signed agreements with both the county and city of San Diego that covers the breakdown of paying for the air assets, and establishes that the city’s fire rescue department will be the lead agency to dispatch the choppers.

SDG&E noted that from the experience in fighting wildfires in May, the utility was compelled not only to retain the helitanker for the fifth consecutive year, but add another helicopter as an additional firefighting tool.

“It is our hope that these two aerial assets will help firefighting agencies quickly suppress wildfires, limiting damage to the region and our gas and electric system,” said John Sowers, vice president of electric distribution operations at SDG&E.