Firefighting in Minnesota

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Air Tractor air tanker
An Air Tractor Fire Boss air tanker taxis to pick up water at the Hibbing Tanker Base near the Hibbing International Airport Wednesday afternoon. (MPR Photo/Derek Montgomery)

Fighting a wildfre in Minnesota is different in some ways. The Land of a Thousand Lakes has a lot of aircraft runways….as long as your aircraft is equipped with floats like the Air Tractor in the photo above. Even the U.S. Forest Service owns at least a couple of aircraft on floats, vintage aircraft at that, DeHavilland Beavers which were last manufactured in 1967.

Minnesota Public Radio has an interesting article about the current fire conditions in their state. As you can see in the fire potential maps we posted yesterday, the northern part of the state has “above normal” wildland fire potential. It is so dry that the land management agencies have assembled a large contingent of firefighting aircraft, including two large air tankers, three CL-215’s, two Air Tractors, and 15 helicopters.

The article has a great slide show of 11 photos of their firefighters and their equipment. Check it out.

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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.

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