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 MAFFS C-130s performed 10 retardant drops June 12, totalling 25,000 gallons
 
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MAFFS prepare to launch
Two Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped C-130s from the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing prepare to take flight June 12 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The aircraft and their aircrews have been assigned to provide MAFFS support to wildland firefighting efforts in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Geographic Area. (U.S. Navy photo/Lt. Cmdr. William Lewis)
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Air Force MAFFS operations drop 25,000 gallons of retardant on first day of activation

Posted 6/13/2013   Updated 6/13/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Stephen J. Collier
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


6/13/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Airmen from Colorado's 302nd Airlift Wing flew their first Colorado aerial firefighting support missions of the year June 12, dropping fire retardant on the growing Black Forest fire.

302nd AW aircrews fighting the nearly 9,000-acre blaze performed 10 drops, releasing approximately 25,000 gallons of fire retardant from U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped C-130s, helping to contain the fire's path.

As of 2:40 a.m. today, the fire, located in northern El Paso County near State Highway 83, had destroyed 92 homes and was threatening others, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. Injuries or fatalities from the fire were still unknown. The sheriff's office also reports the fire is at zero percent containment.

Two other prominent fires are also burning in Colorado. These include the Royal Gorge fire, located near Canon City; and the Big Meadows fire west of Fort Collins.

Currently, both of the wing's MAFFS-equipped C-130s are dedicated to supporting Southwest and Rocky Mountain Geographic Area current wildland fires.

The MAFFS system is a self-contained, portable aerial firefighting system, which can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, over an area one-quarter of a mile long by 60 feet wide. Once a load is discharged, the MAFFS system can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the 302nd AW's aerial firefighting mission. Since 1993, the wing's Air Force Reservists and C-130 Hercules aircraft have supported numerous fires, including Colorado's 2002 Hayman fire, California's Big Sur fire in 2008 and the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire in nearby Colorado Springs.

For more information on fires throughout Colorado and the United States, visit the National Interagency Fire Center's website at www.nifc.gov.



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