Firefighting C-130s Busy over Colorado

Another fire in northern Colorado is forcing airmen to spread their firefighting efforts across the state. Four C-130s specially configured with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System are staging from Peterson AFB, Colo., to help helicopter crews contain the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colo., and now the Flagstaff fire near Boulder. The four C-130s had already splashed an estimated 73,000 gallons of retardant to halt the rolling flames, as of early morning on June 27 local time, states a US Northern Command release. Over the Waldo Canyon fire, the C-130s had completed 23 airdrops. The Flagstaff Fire was burning 1.5 miles from the city limits of Boulder, as of midday on June 27, reported the Denver Channel. There were already five C-130 airdrops by then to quell the Flagstaff flames, according to NORTHCOM. Pre-evacuation orders went out to more than 2,400 Flagstaff residents. Southeast, in Colorado Springs, 32,000 people had evacuated. More than half of the active federal wildfire-fighting resources are currently operating in Colorado, reported Denver’s KDVR. President Obama is scheduled to visit Colorado Springs on June 29 to witness the devastation. (See also Peterson report by A1C Nichole Grady and Ann Skarban.)