Miltary C-130H Hercules planes have been modified and deployed to aid in fire fighting operations thanks to the MAFFS system
Credit Jim Hill / KUNC
Across the country, forecasts call for a long and dry fire season. Currently, only 11 civilian firefighting air tankers are in service with the US Forest Sevice, and those are nearing the end of their usable life. However, small groups of specially modified Air Force C-130’s are on standby and ready to deploy as needed across the country.
Senator Mark Udall tours an area burned by the Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County.
Credit CreativeCommons/Senator Mark Udall
Colorado Senator Mark Udall delivered a letter to the US Forest Service Chief Thursday expressing his concerns about whether the agency’s aging air tanker fleet is capable of keeping the state safe during a potentially dangerous fire season. The Senator is unconvinced the current fleet is adequate.