The U.S. Forest Service is repositioning the military Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) aircraft from Colorado Springs to Mesa, Arizona to help fight fires burning in the state.
"The weather and progress on the ground have helped us in the Four Corners region." said Col. Charles D. Davis III, commander of the Air Expeditionary Group (Provisional) - Wildland Fire Fighting, said in a statement. "By Wednesday, we plan to have relocated all four airplanes and their crews to Arizona."
One MAFFS aircraft left Colorado Springs Monday evening to drop fire retardant on the Dean Peak fire, a wildland blaze burning east of Kingman, Ariz. A second aircraft due to fly the same mission did not take off because of thunderstorms in the area.
All four available MAFFS aircraft should be ready to make drops in Arizona Wednesday. Two of those aircraft are from the 302nd Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command located at Peterson Air Force Base. The other two aircraft are stationed in California.
Four more MAFFS-capable C-130s are operated by Air National Guard units in North Carolina and Wyoming and can be called on if needed.