Brush Fire 35 Miles North Of Malibu – US Has Minimal Number Of Big Air Tankers On Contract, Says Reporter
Written by 991KBU on June 11, 2020
The first big brush fire of the year in Ventura County continues to burn about 35 miles north of Malibu.
It’s called the Lime Fire … and it’s burning near Lake Piru … north of Fillmore.
As of late last nigth … the fire was estimated at 400 acres with the potential to spread to 1,500 acres.
The fire was 30% contained as of Wednesday night, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.
The U-S government has only 13 large airplanes in the entire country … just 13 large airplanes capable of spraying fire retardant on wildfires.
The U-S Forest Service has a strategy of keeping the nation’s air tanker fleet at a minuscule level.
That’s the conclusion of Bill Gabbert … a writer who keeps tabs on the nation’s firefighting capabilities at a web site … Fire Aviation dot com.
Gabbert writes that the US Forest Service recently told a Senate hearing that there are up to 35 large aircraft ready to fight fires across the western U-S today.
The Forest Service says they have three times the air tankers they actually have, they do not need more … Gabbert writes.
But he says the truth is far different.
Saying “up to 35” could mean anywhere from zero to 35, and is meaningless .. he says.
The actual total … today … is 13 large air tankers on exclusive use contracts for the federal government.
These are the big planes … like the DC-10 air tanker that saved Corral Canyon in the big fire in 2007.
A study completed for the Forest Service in 1996 recommended there be 41 large turbine-powered air tankers on contract.
We have 13.
We have a link to Gabbert’s article posted on the KBUU Newswire: