A new study released by the RAND Corporation, a non partisan think tank, says the U.S. Forest Service should move away from retardant dropping heavy air tankers as a primary aerial firefighting tool to more cost effective ‘scooper planes’ that drop water.
The US Forest Service has mobilized four additional military C130’s to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in Colorado bringing the entire fleet into service. The last time all eight of the specially equipped planes were activated was 4 years ago.
In Colorado, high temperatures and extremely low humidity are feeding destructive wildfires, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents from endangered areas that include popular tourist sites. According to The Denver Post, the Waldo Canyon fire "has burned 3,446 acres and remains zero percent contained."
Fires are also raging in Utah, where the AP reports that "hundreds of residents evacuated ahead of a 39-square-mile blaze."