747 air tanker signs with CalFire

The 747 air tanker operated by Evergreen has signed a Call When Needed (CWN) contract with CalFire, confirming what one of our readers said in a comment on Wildfire Today on June 10.

According to a story in the Press-Enterprise:

Cal Fire will pay Evergreen International Aviation Inc. of McMinnville, Ore., $29,500 an hour, plus the cost of fuel, with a minimum of four hours per day guaranteed any day the plane is used. The contract calls for paying for a minimum of 10 days at a cost of $1.183 million, regardless of whether the plane is used.

The 747 carries about 20,000 gallons of retardant which is six to seven times more than a conventional large air tanker.

The U. S. Forest Service issued a solicitation for “Very Large Airtankers (VLAT)” on June 25, specifying that the minimum acceptable payload would be 11,000 gallons of mixed retardant. The solicitation is scheduled to be archived on July 10 and may not be available after that date. FBODaily may have some information available after July 10.

It is our understanding that CalFire has an exclusive use contract with one of the 12,000 gallon DC-10 air tankers operated by 10 Tanker Air Carrier, Tanker 910, and has a CWN contract with their second DC-10, Tanker 911.

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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.