3:11pm

Tue July 3, 2012
Wildfires

After South Dakota Crash, MAFFS C-130's Back In The Air

As numerous fires continue to burn across Colorado and the western United States, the fatal crash of a key part of the firefighting effort concerned officials battling the blazes.  

The deadly crash of a military C-130 fighting a South Dakota wildfire, forced the grounding of seven other military air tankers for a safety review Monday. 

Military officials have announced that the remaining C-130’s will resume operation while the crash that killed four airmen is investigated

Here is the breaking news report from KEVN Black Hills, SD:

The fleet of military tankers was activated late last month as the dwindling civilian Air Tanker Fleet struggles to adequately cover fires burning in western states.

Steve Segin with the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center says while air tankers play a large role in fighting a blaze, they’re not the only resource at a firefighter’s disposal.

“Air Tankers and airplanes don’t put fires out. Firefighters do. The number one thing, is an air tanker or a helicopter or a single engine tanker, it’s just another tool that firefighters have to help them get the fire out.”

According to Bill Gabbert of wildfiretoday.com, the crashed tanker was based out of North Carolina. The other MAFFS tanker from that region was allowed to leave the wildfire mission and return home to base.

User heyeng130 posted this video from training flights this year that will give you a sense of what the pilot sees from the cockpit of the C-130 during a wildfire mission.