Jun 16, 2011 7:18 PM by Bill Folsom

Firefighter air support from Pueblo


Stopping the many wildfires burning in and near Colorado requires an effort that reaches far beyond the fire-line. A major support effort is happening at the Pueblo Airport, where Forest Service teams reload and maintain air tankers.

As soon as the props stop crews move-in and hook up hoses and then pump in fire retardant. They're putting in over 2-thousand gallons in less than ten minutes. Planes come and go every 30 to 40 minutes. In the past week they have loaded close to 180-thousand gallons.

The crews work dawn to dark. "They are definitely tired at the end of the day," says Forest Service Fire Prevention Officer, Ralph Bellah,

The air tankers are a big help, also a big expense. The combined cost of each trip can push up between eight and nine thousand dollars.



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