Four Defense Department C-130 Hercules equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems under the command and control of U.S. Northern Command are helping to put out fires in Colorado at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
As of early this morning, DOD aircraft had completed 23 airdrops at the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs dropping about 59,900 gallons of retardant on the blaze. Five airdrops had released about 13,200 gallons of retardant on the Flagstaff Fire near Boulder, Colo.
The supporting units are the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing, flying out of Boise International Airport in Idaho.
MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.