Seven firefighting airplanes are on their way to supplement the U.S. Forest Service’s aging air tanker fleet.
The existing airplanes, mainly twin-prop PV2s built in the 1950s, carry 2,000 gallons of fire retardant. The new planes will carry at least 3,000 gallons each, and one – a converted DC-10 jumbo jet – will carry a whopping11,600 gallons.
Forest Service officials are eager to acquire the craft as soon as possible, fearing another devastating wildfire season like the one that scorched the Northwest in 2012. And this time around, firefighters will be hindered by slashed resources because of the federal sequester. Read the Associated Press article from the Medford Mail Tribune.