US fire fighting Air Attack fleet terribly inadequate
In the 1990s and early 2000′s America used old WWII bombers to fight fires. Many of them crashed. In 2012 the US has less than 250 aircraft contracted and some of them sit while fires rage across America. They sit because the US Forest Service refuses to pay them. In other cases Air National guard C-130s now sit because of the poor training given guard pilots to fight forest fires. They have been crashing too.
The US has thousands of big airplanes capable of being retrofitted to carry water and retardants to wild land fires,but the government has completely lost it’s way.
Sitting here typing at a computer in a smoke filled room in Boulder Colorado, this week I have seen first hand the devastation cause by forest fires to Colorado cities. Where was the air attack in the early hours of these fires? Parked in hangers 1000′s of miles away.
The US needs at least 100 air tankers It has 32. They need them on the tarmac in Denver ready to in 10 minutes not two day latter after the fire has destroyed 100′s of homes as happened in Ft Collins Colorado in June. We need another 300 air attack panes of all sizes. We need 400 helicopters ready to go. We need an air fleet of 1500 aircraft capable of carrying water to fight fires. We have 232. Just terrible.What’s left when the air attack does not come. America is burning and our government has let us down. Shame on them.
The Department of the Interior, FEMA USFS, Congress, Senate, Air force, National Guard have all let America down. This is Katrina all over again and it is happening on president Obama’s watch. It is also happening in my state and I am sick of watching it burn. Obama needs to take responsibility and get us the air fleet we need. End all the buck passing.
from fire ravaged Colorado