Four additional military MAFFS air tankers activated

MAFFS air tanker dropping on Waldo Canyon Fire
MAFFS air tanker dropping on Waldo Canyon Fire
MAFFS air tanker dropping on Waldo Canyon Fire June 28, 2012. Photo by Staff Sgt Stephany Richards USAF

The U.S. Forest Service has activated an additional four Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) air tankers. These military C-130s should be operational by 6 p.m. Saturday and are from the North Carolina Air National Guard and the California Air National Guard. They will be working out of Peterson Air Force base in Colorado Springs, Colorado along with the other four MAFFS air tankers that were activated June 24.

This brings the number of large air tankers on active duty right now to 22, plus one very large air tanker:


  • 9 on Exclusive Use contracts (8 P2Vs and 1 BAe-146)
  • 5 CV-580s borrowed temporarily through agreements with the State of Alaska and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre
  • 8 MAFFS

Very Large Airtankers

  • 1 DC 10 on a call when needed contract

Since June 25 the four MAFFS aircraft operating out of Colorado Springs have conducted 62 sorties, made 53 air drops, and dropped 138,400 gallons of retardant on fires in the area, most of them on the Waldo Canyon fire which has burned 348 homes and killed at least one person.

Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson for the USFS, said today that there are still an additional three CV-580 air tankers available that they could borrow from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.

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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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