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Letter to the Editor: Fighting wildfires

By LARRY SWANBERG
Victorville, Calif.

Editor,

Regarding the current massive fire in Utah I must say I'm outraged that the US Forest Service is again refusing to use the Supertanker water bombing aircraft like the DC-10 water bomber aircraft in Victorville, Calif., (the only on line 12,000 gallon supertanker fire fighting aircraft in our country).

The DC-10 unfortunately is now down for maintenance but should be back in service in two or three weeks. I saw an interesting media report that is a solution while the DC-10 supertanker aircraft is being repaired. The Russians reportedly have a fleet of six supertanker aircraft comparable in size to the DC-10 that have been successfully fighting fires around the world for more than 12 years and have always offered to come in and stop our fires on a cost only basis.

However they have always been unjustly refused by our US Forest Service mismanaging our forests. As they can respond immediately and stop massive fires in one or two days that would otherwise burn for weeks or months it seems prudent to call them in at this time to save homes and lives while the DC-10 is being repaired.

Meanwhile we should get the Evergreen Aviation Boeing 747 supertanker, in Oregon, (24,000 gallon capacity) ready for service as a back up tanker. We need this quick action now as hundreds of homes have been burned and lives endangered with obviously more to follow.

Only public outcry will force these super fire fighting aircraft to be used as the self-serving US Forest Service has refused to use them for over 12 years causing terrible loss of life, homes, and wildlife. Contact every public official and demand these aircraft stop these fires now.





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