Civilian fire agencies are using converted military transport aircraft to fight wildfires across the Western United States this summer.
Eight C-130 military planes stationed around the country have been outfitted with “Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems” or “MAFFS.” The units can drop tons of fire retardant in a matter of seconds.
Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Allen with the California Air National Guard says California has two units standing by.
“MAFFS has been prepared,” he says. “We have executed our annual training and two systems that are in California are ready to rock and so are the aircraft.”
Military helicopters helped civilian California fire crews bring massive Southern California wildfires under control earlier this year.
Two “MAFFS” equipped C-130s are now helping fight forest fires in the Pacific Northwest.