Google Earth shows air tanker over Esperanza Fire

P2V on Esperanza fire, Google Earth
P2V on Esperanza fire, Google Earth
A satellite photo of a P2V air tanker working on the Esperanza Fire, October 26, 2006. Google Earth. (click to enlarge)

One of our loyal readers, Lone Ranger, has alerted us to something he found on Google Earth while researching the Esperanza Fire — a satellite photo of a P2V air tanker flying over the fire, perhaps about to make a drop along a dozer line. Or, maybe it’s just orbiting. I was not able to find a shadow of the aircraft so it’s difficult to determine how far he was above the ground.

To check it out yourself, in Google Earth search for 33.844446 -116.845768

At the bottom-left, click on the year. That will cause a slider to appear at the upper left. Drag the slider over to 10/26/2006, then zoom in.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

4 thoughts on “Google Earth shows air tanker over Esperanza Fire”

  1. My guess is that the red haze at the front of the aircraft is the start of a retardant plume as a drop is being initiated between the flaming front (red patch) and the dozer line immediately NNE. There’s another aircraft down to the SE, by the flames at 33.823700° and -116.819089°.

    1. Good job, Robert, finding the additional two aircraft. The one to the northwest looks like a P3. The southernmost one, I’m not sure. Maybe an S2 or a lead plane?

Comments are closed.