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Aging aircraft help battle wildfires, for now

Published April 15, 2013 9:56 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The U.S. Forest Service has eight aging aircraft in its fleet to fight wildland fires this summer, but needs 10 to 20 more in order to fight fires adequately. A contract for next-generation airplanes has not been awarded. Firefighting pilot Chris Holm talks about his 16 years up in the air above the flames.

Aging aircraft help battle wildland fires, for now

Waldo Canyon Fire continues to grow on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, near Colorado Springs. An air tanker battles the fire from the air. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)Ignited by a lightning strike, a carelessly tossed cigarette, or by a scorned woman setting a letter ablaze, wildland fires started by human hands or Mother Nature scorch millions of acres across the country each year. Thousands of firefighters on the ground descend on the blazes to contain and extinguish them. They fight ...

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