Colorado county approves first-of-its-kind deal with Global SuperTanker Services

747 Supertanker

Above: 747 Supertanker making a test drop with water at Colorado Springs May 4, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

A Colorado county on Tuesday approved a deal that sets the stage for a response from the largest firefighting aircraft in the world if and when major wildfires flare up near Denver, marking the culmination of a first-of-its-kind contract.

Commissioners in Douglas County on Tuesday approved the one-year, $200,000 deal with Global SuperTanker Services LLC that gives the county access to the mammoth Boeing 747-400 aircraft that can drop roughly 20,000 gallons of water or retardant — nearly double the capacity of its closest rival, the DC-10.

The deal is unique in that it gives the 800-square-mile county situated between Denver and Colorado Springs exclusive access to the SuperTanker.

“Douglas County is establishing a model for wildland fire-prone municipalities to follow,” Bob Soleberg, senior vice president and program manager for Global SuperTanker, said in a statement Tuesday night to Wildfire Today and Fire Aviation. “Their planning is comprehensive and designed to protect lives, property and the natural resources.”

Additional details about the new deal and information about Douglas County’s partnerships with other aircraft entities in the region is available on FireAviation.com.

Author: Jason Pohl

In addition to writing for Wildfire Today, Jason Pohl reports on public safety-related issues for The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY.

2 thoughts on “Colorado county approves first-of-its-kind deal with Global SuperTanker Services”

  1. Although a step forward a 800 square mile contract is a “little thin” for the worlds largest air tanker. Hopefully the Forest Service or Cal Fire will design a plan to put this aircraft to work.
    The tour of Chile fires by the 747 as captured by dozens of videos does represent a good picture of Tanker 744 capability. One video in particular toward the latter part of the siege reminded of what a SEAT may look like on steroids. Low, slow and turning to cut the head off of an active fast moving fire.

  2. If I read it right at $40,900 a day avab and $23,500 a hour they will burn through the $200,000 max the state has agreed to pay in about a week? I guess they will only use it once?

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