I wonder what kind of wake the Martin Mars creates when it skims along a 3-mile stretch of Lake Shasta filling its 7,200 gallon tank at 80 miles per hour? It probably makes the lake a little choppy for the water skiers for a few minutes.
On Friday, it did this 20 times, reloading about every 25 minutes, dropping the water on the nearby 16,700-acre Motion fire. That is a damn good turn around time for an air tanker. The pilots have the option of dropping plain water on the fires, or mixing class A foam or fire retardant gel into the water.
Do you remember the opening sequence in the 1989 movie, the Steven Spielberg production with Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and John Goodman that is centered around air tanker pilots? Turn up the sound when you play the 55-second clip below….it’s more fun that way.
One of the lines in the movie is still food for thought for firefighters. John Goodman said to Richard Dreyfuss:
Pete, there ain’t no war here… And this is why you’re not exactly a hero for taking these chances you take. You’re more of what I would call a dickhead.
Some trivia about the movie, from Wikipedia:
The movie is set in the Kootenai National Forest in Montana, with some scenes filmed in and around Libby, Montana. Some 500 people from Libby were recruited for the movie as extras to act as wildland firefighters.
In the opening scenes the forest fires were created by Pathfinder Helicopter Inc.. They were hired by the Forest Service to burn some clearcuts near Libby that were filmed for the movie. The helicopter Pilot was Steve Tolle and the Ground Crew Manager was Jim Leighty.
The Libby airport was used to double as the Forest Service Headquarters in the movie.