When wildfires are burning, one of the common questions is: What about the SuperTanker? It is the massive 747 fire fighting air tanker based in Colorado Springs. “We have the highest capability as far as amount of fluid that we carry,” said SuperTanker Pilot, Marcos Valdez.” Despite its size and capacity is currently on the ground while multiple wildfire burn in and around Colorado.
It is owned by a private company, and whether it flies or not has a lot to do with contracts. There are current contracts with several states. "They generally call us when fires get really big,” said Valdez, “The flip side of that is when a fire gets really big, command and control of that fire is handed over to the federal government– U.S. Forest Service and we currently do not have a contract with the U.S. Forest Service." The U.S. Forest service has contacts with multiple air firefighting resources. If those resources get spread too thin, they may look at other options like the SuperTanker.