recommended reading

Air Force Deploys Air Tankers to Battle Arizona Forest Fires

An aerial tanker drops fire retardant on a wildfires threatening homes near Yarnell, Ariz., Monday, July 1, 2013.

An aerial tanker drops fire retardant on a wildfires threatening homes near Yarnell, Ariz., Monday, July 1, 2013. // Chris Carlson/AP

The Air Force has deployed four C-130 aerial tankers to Arizona, where they stand ready to help battle major forest fires, including an uncontrolled and raging blaze 85 miles northwest of Phoenix that killed 19 firefighters.

Each of the C-130s are equipped with a Forest Service-owned Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, or MAFFS, that can drop 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant along the leading edge of a forest fire in less than five seconds and cover an area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. The MAFFS tanks can be refilled for another mission in 12 minutes.

All four MAFFS aircraft should be ready to make drops in Arizona by noon Wednesday operating from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport, according to Col. Charles D. Davis III, commander of the Air Expeditionary Group (Provisional) – Wildland Fire Fighting, headquartered at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.  

One C-130 left Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday and flew one mission against the 2,350 acres Dean Peak fire, located 10 miles southeast of Kingman, Ariz., the Air Force said.

Margo Whitt, a spokeswoman for the interagency Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque, N.M., said the C-130 would not fly any missions against the Arizona fires Wednesday.  The Yarnell Fire, which caused the deaths of the 19 firefighters, has spread across 8,400 acres since it started last Friday, June 28, and residents in the towns of Peeples Valley and Yarnell have been ordered to evacuate.

The Forest Service cannot use the Air Force aerial tankers until it has deployed all its contract air tankers. The Air Force activated C-130s to fight fires in southern Colorado on June 11 and since then has made 70 drops on Colorado and Arizona fires, using some 190,000 gallons of fire retardant.

Two of the C-130s deployed to Arizona are from Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and the other two are from California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing, based at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.