WAPT Helicopter (Wet Ass Portable Tank) Quenches California’s Raging Fires


Written by: Adian Valdez

WAPT was projected to be slightly more effective than a bucket and a mop.
Photo by Sharon Roth

A new hero with a peculiar name has emerged from Sacramento to combat the devastating forest fires plaguing the west coast of the United States. The Wet Ass Portable Tank (WAPT) completed its maiden mission last Thursday, helping the local firefighting taskforce contain the LNU Lightning Complex fires north of Fairfield.

The WAPT is one of four from the new line of Sikorsky S-70C Firehawk water-bombing helicopters recently commissioned by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) in wake of the outburst of forest fires across western states. To raise funds for the deal, Cal Fire announced a contest: the top four cities who raised the most money would each be able to name one of the new helicopters. After a month, the contest ended with Sacramento, CA; Reno, NV; Seattle, WA; and Portland, OR claiming the top four spots, with all participants raising a total of 41.3 million dollars, nearly 50% of the funds.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see such enthusiasm for our fundraiser,” said Thom Porter, director of Cal Fire. “Especially in such divisive times, it’s good to see Americans come together to support our fellow citizens. We certainly didn’t expect people to be so creative with the names, though.”

For citizens of the winning cities, online polls were launched to determine the names of each of the helicopters. Pollees were allowed to submit their own names and could vote for their favorite. After two weeks, the polls closed and the most-voted names were adopted. Much to Cal Fire’s chagrin, all four poll-winning names were from joke submissions.

“I don’t know what they were expecting,” said paralegal Melissa Bree. “Like, they should’ve learned their lesson from Boaty McBoatface, or John Cena Elementary School. But unlike those examples, their contract stipulated that the people had the final say on the name, not Cal Fire. So because of that, they had no choice but to officially adopt the titles.”

The Wet Ass Portable Tank, whose name originates from the recent single by rambunctious, often vulgar rapper Cardi B, was the name chosen by citizens of Sacramento for their helicopter. The moniker Smoky’s Phat Nozzle was claimed by Seattle. Reno and Portland dubbed their helicopters It’s Raining Men and Big Succ respectively.

“I’m not gonna lie, this is the highlight of my career,” said pilot Hamlin Hammonds, who flies the WAPT. There’s nothing as liberating as blasting some B as you dump a fat load of water over a giant fire. I didn’t even like Cardi before, but now every time I hop in this thing there’s only one queen on the speakers.”

When told the news about the name of the helicopter, Cardi B said, “that’s wack.”

Copy Editor at The MQ

Here lies the bio of a guitar jammin, halo playin, copy editin, ISTJ personality typin member of the MQ. Adian Valdez is not only the lead copy editor of the MQ, he is a deeply committed member of Triton Halo, Muir Musical and his fraternity of which I do not know the name. The MQ urges you to listen to this king’s music on iTunes or Spotify and maybe he will AP style the hell out of your papers.

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