Bloomberg News

Military Resumes Flying C-130 Planes to Fight Fires

July 03, 2012

The U.S. military today will resume flying specially equipped C-130 cargo planes that are used to help fight fires, a day after suspending operations because of a plane crash in South Dakota.

The decision, announced by the U.S. Northern Command in a statement, means that seven planes that had been fighting fires in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota can resume their work.

The planes are equipped with a pressurized tank system that can expel water or fire retardants within seconds over an area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide, according to Northern Command, which is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

One of the planes, from the 145th Airlift Wing of the North Carolina Air National Guard, crashed July 1 while assisting with the White Draw Fire in South Dakota. The cause of that crash is under investigation.

The planes typically travel with a crew of six, according to Northern Command. The North Carolina Air National Guard plans to announce the names of those killed in the crash today.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at

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