USFS adds four additional air tankers for wildfire season - CBS 5 - KPHO

USFS adds four additional air tankers for wildfire season

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy:  10 Tanker LLC Courtesy: 10 Tanker LLC
Courtesy:  10 Tanker LLC Courtesy: 10 Tanker LLC
Courtesy:  Neptune Aviation Services Courtesy: Neptune Aviation Services
Courtesy:  Neptune Aviation Services Courtesy: Neptune Aviation Services
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The U.S. Forest Service knows it's going to be an active wildfire season.

"Fire season is here, and whether it's lightning or human-caused fires, it's only a matter of time," said Helen Graham with Tonto National Forest.

So in addition to more than 100 helicopters, the USFS has added four next-generation tanker aircraft, bringing the total to 21 large air tankers.  These aircraft will help support more than 10,000 firefighters this season.

"They'll help us out on the ground quite a bit because it'll help us reduce firefighter exposure," Graham said.

The additional aircraft include three BAe-146s, contracted through Neptune Aviation Services in Montana, and another DC10 from 10 Tanker, LLC.  These tankers drop fire retardant that can help reduce the intensity and spread of wildfire so firefighters on the ground can safely construct firelines.

"Carrying 12,000 gallons versus 2,000 or 3,000 gallons, being able to fly at 300 knots versus 180 or so, the DC10 can get there faster and deliver more," said Graham.

Not only will these aircraft be available to us in the Southwest, but because they're considered "national resources," they'll go wherever they are needed.  Regardless, these aircraft will be another valuable tool this fire season.

"We need to be vigilant.  And that's why we're bringing all these extra resources from Montana, Idaho and California to assist us in being vigilant and putting these fires out quickly," said Graham.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation).  All rights reserved.

  • USFS adds four additional air tankers for wildfire seasonMore>>

  • Sidebar: Arizona Wildfire Season 2014

    Arizona Wildfires 2014

    Thursday, May 22 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-05-23 01:15:49 GMT
    SLIDESHOW: U.S. Drought Monitor Find wildfires near you Arizona fire restrictions, closures Arizona Department of Insurance Arizona emergency information network wildfire news Wildfire safetyMore >
    SLIDESHOW:More >
Powered by WorldNow
CBS 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation), Phoenix, AZ and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service..