Saturday, June 30, 2012

USFS: Four more MAFFS activated in Rocky Mountain region.

 More Military Firefighting Aircraft Activated for Colorado Effort

CHEYENNE, Wyo., June 29, 2012 – Beginning tomorrow, eight military C-130 aircraft, each equipped with the U.S. Forest Service’s Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, will be operating out of Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., to assist with firefighting efforts in the Rocky Mountain region.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
A C-130 from the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing uses the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System to drop flame retardant on the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 27, 2012. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephany D. Richards

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Two MAFFS-equipped C-130s from the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing and Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing have been working out of Peterson Air Force Base, located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since June 25.
Yesterday, the U.S. Forest Service requested that the remaining four MAFFS units be activated for the Rocky Mountain region. U.S. Northern Command, the Defense Department organization responsible for providing civil support, approved the request and agreed to activate the units late last night.
The California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing, from Channel Islands, and the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th Airlift Wing, from Charlotte, will join the 153rd and the 302nd.
This is the first time since 2008 that all eight military aircraft have been activated at one time, said Air Force Col. Jerry Champlin, 153rd Air Expeditionary Group commander. In that year, the aircraft were stationed at McClellan Airpark in Sacramento, Calif., to fight fires in that state.
Champlin, a member of the Wyoming Air National Guard, has tactical control over the MAFFS aircraft.
Although all eight C-130s will operate from Peterson Air Force Base for now, where they will drop fire retardant depends on the daily situation in the region, officials said. The U.S. Forest Service also may choose to base one or more aircraft in other operating areas.
“They are assigned to fires on a priority basis for each day,” said Scott Fisher, with the U.S. Forest Service. “Air tankers may also be reassigned during the day, based on a shift in priority for the Rocky Mountain coordination center.”
During the first five days of the military’s activation, the four MAFFS-equipped C-130s have dropped 138,398 gallons of fire retardant on two fires in Colorado: the Waldo Canyon Fire, near Colorado Springs, and the Flagstaff Fire, near Boulder.
The C-130s are aiding the effort through a joint Defense Department and U.S. Forest Service program designed to provide additional aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private air tankers are no longer able to meet the Forest Service’s needs.
MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the Forest Service that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.
Related Articles:
Panetta Commends Jacoby for Northcom Fire Assistance 
Northcom Continues Fire Suppression Efforts 
Air Force Reserve Crews Join Fight Against Colorado Fires 
Guard Wing Activates to Aid Firefighting Effort


No comments:

Post a Comment

- Due to rampant abuse, we are no longer posting anonymous comments. Please use your real OpenID, Google, Yahoo, AIM, Twitter, Flickr name.

Twitter Buttons

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer." --Abraham Lincoln

View blog top tags

Subscribe via email to California Fire News - Keep track of Cal Fire News

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner