DENVER (AP) – Increasing fire danger in the eastern half of Colorado has prompted fire managers to station a large aerial tanker at an airport outside Denver.

The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center said Tuesday the twin-engine P2V Neptune can carry up to 2,000 gallons of fire retardant.

A smaller single-engine tanker capable of carrying 800 gallons has also been activated and is at the same base, Rocky Mountain Airport in Jefferson County. That plane is under contract with the State Forest Service.

Jim Fletcher of the Rocky Mountain coordination center says it’s unusual to have aircraft deployed this early in the season but says fire danger is high in eastern Colorado and along the Front Range and could reach extreme in southeast Colorado next weekend.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Wildfire Resources

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