Eye On Boise

Boise air tanker base sets record for fire retardant dumps in big wildfire year

A VLAT, Very Large Aerial Tanker, that holds more than 10,000 gallons of fire retardant, makes a drop on Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012 on the Cave Canyon Fire a mile west of Oakley, Idaho. The fire is over 30,000 acres with fire fighters from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and local fire departments. (AP/Times-News / Ashley Smith)
A VLAT, Very Large Aerial Tanker, that holds more than 10,000 gallons of fire retardant, makes a drop on Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012 on the Cave Canyon Fire a mile west of Oakley, Idaho. The fire is over 30,000 acres with fire fighters from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and local fire departments. (AP/Times-News / Ashley Smith)

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Federal officials say the air tanker base in Boise has so far dumped more than 1 million gallons of fire retardant on wildfires burning across Idaho this year. That surpasses totals recorded for the past 11 years dating to 2001 and the first eclipse of the 1-million gallon mark since 2007. This fire season, pilots have dumped 1.2 million gallons of the red retardant on wildfires, topping the previous record of 1.19 million gallons in 2006. Officials at the U.S. Forest Service Air Tanker Base say the annual average during the last 11 years is 611,000 gallons. Nearly a third of the 2011 dump has targeted fires on the Boise National Forest. More than 245,000 gallons were dropped on the initial attack on the Trinity Ridge Fire burning near Featherville.




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Betsy Z. Russell





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