FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Large air tankers fighting wildfires along Colorado’s Front Range will be based at the Fort Collins-Loveland Airport this year.

The tankers are usually based at Rocky Mountain Metro Airport in Broomfield but U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that it’s moving the base north because of construction work being done at the airport in Broomfield.

Spokeswoman Reghan Cloudman said Fort Collins-Loveland was picked because it has runways long enough to accommodate the tankers as well as available terminal space and is relatively close. Fort Collins-Loveland is about 10 minutes by plane from Broomfield.

The new station will open as soon as April 15.

There will also be full-time air tanker bases in Grand Junction and Rapid City, S.D. Another base can also be made available in Pueblo as needed.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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