Colorado firefighting tanker fleet OK with feds

Posted: Apr 24, 2013

Written by

Stefanie Dazio, Durango Herald
Slurry bomber

The U.S. Forest Service supports a Colorado state Senate bill that would allow Colorado to buy its own firefighting air-tanker fleet, an agency spokeswoman said.

State senators, worried about another bad wildfire season and a diminished federal air-tanker fleet, advanced a bill last week that would spend $25 million to create the Colorado Firefighting Air Corps.

State lawmakers and fire officials said Colorado can’t rely on federal air support during wildfire season. The national fleet is down to eight large air tankers under exclusive-use contracts for 2013, the Forest Service said.

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