FORT COLLINS, colo. (CBS4) – With an active fire season anticipated for this year, the single engine air tanker, or SEAT, is a valuable part of any fight against a wildfire.
The first SEAT plane to come online in the state this year has now done so in Larimer County.
While it is based at the Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport, it can respond to any wildfire in the state.
A SEAT is able to drop 800 gallons of fire retardant, and unlike larger tankers it can quickly get to and operate out of remote airports.
“We can get there really quickly, make a drop if necessary, extinguish the fire — or at least contain it — and (report) the size of it back to the ground,” said pilot Parker Lewis.
The plane is owned and operated by Aero Tech, Inc., and it is contracted out to the state during most of the fire season.
Another SEAT is also on standby to fly if needed.