747 air tanker makes first drop on live fire in lower 48 states

Evergreen’s 747 “Supertanker” made its first drop on a live fire in the lower 48 states today. Flying out of McClellan near Sacramento it made at least two drops on the Station fire. It split its 20,000 gallon capacity into two separate drops of about 10,000 gallons each, without having to make the 55-minute one-way return trip to McClellan to reload.

The Fox TV station out of Los Angeles got two of the drops on tape. Click on the image below to play the video. (UPDATE: the video is no longer available)

The plane may also have dropped earlier in the day on a fire near Yucaipa, southeast of Los Angeles.

As Wildfire Today reported on July 30, the 747 made its first drop on a live fire in Spain in mid-July. The second fire it dropped on was the Railbelt Complex in Alaska on July 31. If it also dropped on the Yucaipa fire earlier today, then the Station fire was the fourth fire it has dropped on.

Here are a couple of screen grabs from today’s video.

Below is the photo of the 747 on the Railbelt Complex in Alaska on July 31 that we published on August 1.

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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.