The USDA Forest Service has activated an additional military C-130 aircraft equipped with Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) to join two others battling western wildfires. The aircraft is from the Nevada Air National Guard’s 152nd Airlift Wing. The three MAFFS-equipped aircraft are operating out of McClellan Airbase in Sacramento and assisting the USDA Forest Service and other wildland fire agencies with aerial fire suppression.

Having military C-130s that can be converted into airtankers provides a critical “surge” capability that can be used to bolster wildfire suppression efforts when commercial airtankers are fully committed or not readily available. The initial activation of MAFFS-equipped military aircraft on June 25 was a month earlier than in 2020 and the earliest activation of MAFFS-equipped aircraft in a decade.

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