As the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County continues to advance, growing to over 25,000 acres in size overnight, the Global SuperTanker, a Boeing 747 Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) known as tanker 944 yesterday relocated to McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento to await the call from CalFire to spring into action when needed.
Tanker 944 was in San Bernardino California receiving some maintenance work after only days earlier returning from fighting fires in Bolivia for almost a month. While in country, the VLAT aircraft completed in excess of 130 drops over various locations in Bolivia, fighting fires that numbered over 1500 separate fires at times.
The Kincade fire, burning near state roads 128 and 101 in Sonoma County has caused widespread evacuations and road closures in the area and continues to grow, showing in the latest CalFire statistics as only 10% contained at the time of writing.
If tasked to assist in the Kincade fire, the Global SuperTanker will join over two thousand ground based firefighters, 179, engines and 10 helicopters already tasked with fighting the fire that is being fanned by strong winds in the area.
The Kincade fire is the most severe of all fires burning in California this week, including the Tick fire in the Santa Clarita area that was initially thought under control, which re-ignited and has currently burned over 4,600 acres and stands at 25% contained as of 7 a.m. PST.
The Saddle Ridge fire that broke out between the Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks area claimed nearly 9,000 acres earlier this week and is now considered by CalFire to be 97% contained.
Cover image by Michael Piper