More aircraft added to wildland firefighting inventory

The U.S. Forest Service’s chief, Tom Tidwell, announced the addition of eight additional aircraft to its firefighting fleet to ensure an adequate number of airtankers are available for wildland firefighting efforts.

With the additional airtankers, the Forest Service has 16 large airtankers and one very large airtanker available immediately for wildfire suppression.

The Forest Service is also arranging for five heavy helicopters, called Type 1s, to become available earlier than scheduled.

As of Tuesday, the Forest Service had some 4,000 personnel, 62 helicopters and 10 airtankers committed to suppression efforts on over 100 fires including those in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.

– Janice Kurbjun

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