Staying the Course, Quelling the Flames

Four specially configured C-130s are still actively fighting fires, primarily snuffing out new flare-ups across Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon from a staging point at Boise Air Terminal, Idaho. “Our aircrews have been flying on a number of fires . . . accomplishing primarily initial attack operations on new starts,” said Lt. Col. Luke Thompson, firefighting chief for Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson AFB, Colo., in a July 25 release. The Reserve wing is one of the Air Force’s four Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped C-130 units. “It’s been a busy start to this year’s MAFFS season,” admitted Thompson. As of early morning on July 26, C-130 MAFFS airplanes had dropped 799,585 gallons of retardant on wildfires in the northwestern United States in 327 sorties since June 24, SSgt. Jasmine Reif, 302nd AW spokeswoman, told the Daily Report. The Forest Service on July 16 relieved two Wyoming Air National Guard C-130s, leaving four aircraft at Boise: two each from the 302nd AW and the California Air Guard’s 146th AW at Channel Islands ANG Station. (Includes Peterson report by Ann Skarban)