Air Force Deploys Air Tankers To Battle Arizona Forest Fires

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | July 2, 2013

The Air Force has deployed four C-130 aerial tankers to Arizona, where they stand ready to help battle major forest fires, including an uncontrolled and raging blaze 85 miles northwest of Phoenix that killed 19 firefighters.

Each of the C-130s are equipped with a Forest Service-owned Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, or MAFFS, that can drop 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant along the leading edge of a forest fire in less than five seconds and cover an area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. The MAFFS tanks can be refilled for another mission in 12 minutes.