|Air resources are used quite frequently in the Great Basin for suppression. Type III Helicopters, Multi-Engine Air Tankers, and Single Engine Air Tankers are all utilized frequently when fire threats are significant and immediate suppression is required. Below are some of the pictures that other wildland firefighters and myself have taken over the years on various fires. Check out the slideshow to see how a retardant drop from a heavy tanker works.|
-This is a slideshow of 3 pictures taken on the
Tungston Fire south of Winnemucca in 1999. The heavy tanker passed directly overhead and dropped
from the saddle to the top of the hill. Notice the fire behavior after the fire hits the retardant line.
Retardant is basically a fertilizer mixture mixed with red dye and
water. It is meant to decrease fire behavior enough to allow ground
crews to suppress the fire, hence the name retardant. Most heavy tankers
can carry about 3000 gallons of retardant that they can use for 1-3 drops
before having to refill. They are a very valuable tool for
suppression on the fast moving fires in the Great Basin.