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Peterson Air Force Base reservists to help fight fires in Western United States

By ELLIE MULDER | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Tribune News Service | Published: July 29, 2017

Peterson Air Force Base is sending an aircraft and crew to help fight fires in the Western United States.

"Elevated fire activity" is expected to continue for at least the next two weeks in the California, Great Basin, Northern Rockies and Northwest geographic areas, said a news release.

Reservists from the 302nd Airlift Wing will fly a Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130 on fire suppression missions from locations including Fresno, Calif., as early as Sunday.

The request for assistance came Friday from the National Interagency Fire Center. MAFFS-equipped C-130s are flown by four military airlift wings.

The Peterson-based crew will join a MAFFS-equipped C-130 from the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing and another from the Nevada Air National Guard's 152nd Airlift Wing.

"MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system, owned by the U.S. Forest Service, that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide," the release says. "Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes."

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©2017 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com

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