In the fight against wildfires, every tool and innovation counts. One such game-changer is the Bambi Bucket, also known as a helicopter bucket or Heli bucket. Let’s delve into what makes this specialized aerial firefighting tool so crucial and effective.

What is a Bambi Bucket?

The Bambi Bucket, a staple in aerial firefighting since the 1980s, is a lightweight collapsible container designed to release water from underneath a helicopter onto targeted areas. Its key features include:

  1. Efficient Water Release: Equipped with a pilot-controlled valve, the Bambi Bucket allows precise water release, ensuring targeted and effective firefighting efforts.
  2. Quick Refill: It can be swiftly filled from various sources like lakes and swimming pools, enabling firefighters to refill and return to the fire zone promptly.
  3. Versatility: Available in multiple sizes and models, with capacities ranging from 270 litres to over 9,840 litres, the Bambi Bucket can adapt to different firefighting needs.

The Genesis of Bambi Bucket

The brainchild of Canadian inventor Don Arney, the Bambi Bucket came to life in 1982. Arney’s innovation was a response to the inefficiencies and high failure rates of traditional aerial firefighting water buckets. His creation revolutionized aerial firefighting by offering:

  • Ease of Use: Unlike conventional rigid buckets that had to be trucked or flown in, the Bambi Bucket could be stored within the helicopter until needed, streamlining operations.
  • Enhanced Effectiveness: By discharging a solid column of water, the Bambi Bucket ensured accurate water deployment, minimal evaporation during descent, and increased impact force upon release.

Advantages Over Conventional Buckets

The limitations of conventional water buckets, such as rigidity and water dispersal issues, prompted the need for the Bambi Bucket. Its advantages include:

  1. Storage Convenience: Can be stored within the helicopter, eliminating the need for external transportation.
  2. Precise Water Deployment: Releases water in a solid column, ensuring maximum impact and effectiveness.
  3. Global Adoption: Used in over 115 countries by more than 1,000 helicopter operators, showcasing its widespread acceptance and reliability.


The Bambi Bucket stands as a testament to innovation in firefighting technology. Its versatility, efficiency, and global adoption highlight its indispensable role in combating wildfires and protecting lives and ecosystems worldwide. As wildfires continue to pose challenges, tools like the Bambi Bucket remain crucial in our efforts to safeguard communities and natural landscapes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.