Public Safety & Justice

National Shortage of Large Air Tankers Hampers Firefighting Efforts

A growing challenge for fire commanders attempting to slow and contain dangerous fires is a continued shortage of large air tankers that are available to them.
June 18, 2013
 

A growing challenge for fire commanders attempting to slow and contain dangerous fires is a continued shortage of large air tankers that are available to them.

Right now, the federal government has exclusive contracts for only 10 large air tankers nationwide, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, which handles federal contracts for all large air tankers. Seven more planes are scheduled to come online by the end of the summer, but the entire fleet of planes will still be owned and operated by private companies.

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