Are there fires being fought?


I’ve noticed some recent activity of this plane, which is a fire fighting plane. Are there fires up north where it’s flying around?


I doubt they are dropping from FL 280, probably just wringing it out going into the season.


Are actual flight drop trips tracked here? I didn’t think so. This plane drops chemicals on fire, though, I think. So it would have to fly to places where it could stock up. I don’t know where those places are.


The primary thing that they drop is water, albeit containing some chemicals, so the chemicals are trucked to an airport near the fire they’re responding to that also has a good water supply.




I believe MSO is a base for fire fighting aircraft. And, unlike the great idiotic and just plain dumb asses in the California Department of Forestry, Montana probably doesn’t mind paying for the DC-10 fire fighter.


The aircraft is being staged to it’s summer base. CDF does hire this aircraft out on a “call when needed” basis. The USFS also uses it on the same basis. Got some great pics of it on a fire last season in Calaveras County.


DC-10 Capable airbases in CA are down where it landed, Stockton, and Redding.

The “chemicals” are di-amonium phosphate (A fertilizer) with iron oxide for color so they can see where they’ve dropped. The mixture is actually a slurry, with the consistency of “snot” so it sticks to the vegetation (or firefighters and their engines) it lands on. It’s hard as hell to clean off.

We used to say “Quick as a wink, you’re in the pink!”