Aerial Firefighting

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9,749
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Central Coast, Calif.
It’s that time of year again, it seems like half of California is on fire. A few Air National Guard units are equipped with Modular Aerial Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) that convert a standard C-130 into a fire fighter. These ANG Wings do this in addition to regular military airlift needs.
This video shows a cockpit view of a MAFFS mission from the 146 Air Wing
 
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11,724
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Colorado Springs
They are hard to use when there aren’t any lakes large enough
I cannot tell you how many times I passed or been on this lake. I also lived in CA, and there are numerous lakes in CA where they could operate. Now, problem is of course distance in some areas, but generally in Europe they are relying on CL415 (not anymore that much on CL215) and helicopters. Croatian Air Force did amazing job in Haifa few years ago with them, much better one than 747 that is stationed here at COS did.
 
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3,802
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Cali
I miss all the old recips, everything is Turboprop or jet, we have an Air Attack base here and as kids we would ride our bikes to the airport and watch all the tankers coming in and out, PB4Y's, B17's, TBM's, F7F's, 119's.
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1,930
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Caldwell Idaho
When I lived in Palo Cedro there were lots of fires and lots of bombers I really enjoyed them. Flying low and slow. I saw the DC 10 and the Mars seaplane bomber in action. My dad and I would go to the Redding airport and you could watch the planes get fueled and refilled with retardant. Some time the pilots would come out an BS when then got a break.
 
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Colorado Springs
My comment was intended about the condition of our lakes being empty, not the capabilities of the plane. California often has nearly empty lakes during extended droughts.
They can scoop water in very shallow environment. Also, CL415 is perfect plane for urban areas when fire threatens suburbs etc. San Diego county is leasing CL415 from Canada from September to December precisely for that reason. You cannot use DC10 or 747 in Escondido unless you want to kill someone.
All European countries are relying mostly on CL415. Biggest issue with it here is distance in some areas from lakes or sea to fire. That is limiting factor. In Europe due to geography they are perfect planes, fire suppression wise and cost wise. Again, in Haifa, israel CL415 did most of the job, while 747 that flew from here to Haifa turned out to be mostly unusable due to population density.
 
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tom slick

Thread starter
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9,749
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
It’s obvious you are a fan of the CL14, as I am of the C-130/MAFFS. They’re all tools with different strongpoints to get a fire under control.

drifting further off topic, California has a history of fighting over water. Politics keep our water storage insufficient and our agricultural communities are paying the price.
 
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1,457
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Ca USA
Back in 1966 a Willy Fudd dropped 850 gallons of pink fire retardant
right in the path of me and my Honda S90... I hit that wall of pink slime
going 60mph and the combined force about knocked me
right into the ditch... mercy!!!


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11,724
Location
Colorado Springs
Very cool. We have a fire north of us right now. It’s 13,000 acres. They’re dropping water with helicopters with baskets and have 120 men on the ground.
SOme areas you cannot approach with anything but helicopters. And when it comes to precision, they are the best. These DC10, 747, are used in large areas to establish protection line and to try to contain fire before it gets too close to populated areas.
But in the end, nothing can replace ground crews.
 
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