For the first time in Colorado firefighting history, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 jumbo jet is based in the state for wildfire operations. While such aircraft have made retardant drops in the past, the aircraft have never had a fixed refueling point in the state.
Unlike smaller aircraft, the DC-10 can carry up to four times more liquid, or up to 12,000 gallons. The water can be released in eight seconds, although the actual drop rate is computer controlled by the flight crew in order to produce the desired retardant spread over the fire lines
The DC-10 being used to fight the Royal Gorge and the Black Forest Fires is owned by 10 Tanker Air Carrier LLC, based in Victorville, Calif. It’s under contract with the US Forest Service for approximately the next 160 days.
For the complete story and video by Marc Stewart of KMGH-TV, click here.