SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Watch - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

US Forest Service activates military C-130s for summer firefighting

The two MAFFS-equipped C-130s come from the California and Nevada Air National Guard, and will be based in Sacramento.

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 5:29 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2021 5:33 PM

MCCLELLAN, Calif. — Summer firefighting in the western United States will get a big boost with the addition of two huge military transport planes equipped to do fire retardant drops on wildfires, the earliest they've been activated for fire season in a decade.

According to fire officials, the US Forest Service has activated two C-130 aircraft, both carrying Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS), sourced from the California and Nevada Air National Guard. They'll be based at McClellan Airbase in Sacramento starting on Saturday.

“These aircraft will help augment our aerial firefighting capabilities,” said Kim Christensen, deputy assistant director for operations for the Forest Service. “We’ve already reached National Preparedness Level 4 with elevated potential for significant wildfire activity in the western U.S.to further increase.”

Officials said that firefighting-capable military C-130s can provide critical "surge" capability for wildfire suppression when commercial airtankers are stretched thing. These type of aircraft were last activated this early in a fire season back in 2012, and were brought in a month later in 2020.

“Our aircraft and aircrews are ready to respond to requests for assistance,” said Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce, commander of the First Air Force. “Our MAFFS-trained team of professionals recently completed annual aerial wildland firefighting training with the USDA Forest Service to ensure they are fully prepared for the wildfire season. We take to heart our team’s effort to help protect property and critical infrastructure, with the ultimate goal of saving lives.”

MAFFS equipment can drop up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in less than 10 seconds across a quarter-mile line, according to the Forest Service. The system slides into the back of the C-130, and the retardant is released through a nozzle on the rear left side.

On June 22, officials elevated the National Wildland Fire Preparedness Level to 4 out of 5 to reflect the increase in fire activity across the western US.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 353368

Reported Deaths: 4226
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55417699
Washington38425317
Marion36469448
Clackamas29440306
Lane27431300
Jackson22837305
Deschutes19958125
Umatilla14358145
Linn12672126
Douglas11962243
Josephine9307195
Yamhill8621111
Klamath7846116
Polk724881
Malheur555376
Benton541931
Coos495494
Columbia377043
Jefferson367752
Union316548
Lincoln315438
Wasco284840
Crook281846
Clatsop242029
Baker199928
Tillamook195529
Hood River190537
Morrow183423
Curry179425
Harney111926
Grant99512
Lake91012
Wallowa67612
Gilliam1524
Sherman1483
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4830872

Reported Deaths: 70874
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147942126446
Riverside3706085008
San Diego3652534170
San Bernardino3576395606
Orange3235695531
Sacramento1587852294
Fresno1453782063
Kern1452271616
Santa Clara1451271895
Alameda1203661384
San Joaquin1023411721
Ventura1008491165
Contra Costa99712995
Stanislaus857501325
Tulare79627958
San Francisco54266644
San Mateo54023622
Monterey50792583
Solano45934339
Santa Barbara45047522
Merced42089579
Sonoma40865402
Placer39157420
Imperial35832764
Kings32649320
San Luis Obispo29837331
Madera23720285
Butte23673265
Shasta23574349
Santa Cruz20943218
Yolo20266248
Marin17665244
El Dorado17097149
Sutter13861172
Napa12864100
Yuba1001982
Tehama9433107
Humboldt9180107
Nevada911690
Mendocino758487
Lassen753046
San Benito741672
Tuolumne682889
Lake6583104
Amador540764
Siskiyou446442
Glenn434232
Calaveras386580
Del Norte357441
Colusa303018
Inyo205540
Mono16643
Plumas16126
Mariposa132315
Trinity86911
Modoc6755
Unassigned2120
Sierra1820
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
Brookings
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 50°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 50°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
Strong winds tonight
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events