Peterson AFB Sending Aerial Firefighters To Arizona, New Mexico

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) — Peterson Air Force Base is sending two planes to New Mexico to help fight wildfires in that state and Arizona.

The planes from the 302nd Airlift Wing, a reserve unit, will be based at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. The planes are scheduled to leave Tuesday, along with 10 members of the wing working in Idaho.

The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reports that crews from the unit have already been called to fight fires in Texas.

The Air Force planes are called in as last resort when all civilian resources have been tapped. This year, the 302nd’s all-volunteer firefighting crews have already dropped 243,000 gallons of retardant.

Crews fly the C-130, a propeller-driven transport plane that can carry 3,600 gallons of water or retardant.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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