3:46am

Wed June 12, 2013
Wildfires

Lamborn: Verbal Agreement For MAFFS To Fight Black Forest Fire

It appears the Air Force’s C-130’s equipped with Mobile Air Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) will be activated to help fight the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs.

Republican U.S. Congressman Doug Lamborn, whose district includes areas impacted by the Black Forest Fire, tweeted he had received a verbal agreement that Air Force C-130’s equipped with MAFFS would be sent to the blaze.

Typically the Air Force planes are only called into service when the entire civilian air tanker fleet is in service. The small contingent of specially equipped Air Force tankers is strategically placed around the country including in Colorado Springs and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In a statement posted to his website, Congressman Lamborn and his staff stated that they have been coordinating with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise and secured the verbal agreement to activate the MAFFS at Peterson Air Force Base.

“We hope this fast, coordinated response from local and federal authorities will help get the Black Forest Fire put out as quickly as possible and save lives and property,” said Lamborn in the statement.

MAFFS equipped C-130 Hercules from the 153rd Air Expeditionary Group prepare to take off from Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 26, 2012.
Credit Staff Sgt. Stephany D. Richards / U.S. Air Force

Once in the air, it takes five seconds for the C-130’s to drop their 3,000 gallon payload of red slurry or water over the blaze. When dropped the retardant covers an area one-quarter of a mile long and 60 feet wide.

The 2012 wildfire season saw the entire MAFFS fleet activated, fighting fires nationwide including the destructive Waldo Canyon Fire. One of the MAFFS was lost in a crash in South Dakota.