Wildfire 2013

More large airtankers ordered for the Hough Incident

Feather Publishing
8/19/2013 - 4:15 p.m.
The air attack supervisor on the Hough Complex has just requested two large (Type 1) airtankers and a lead plane for use on the Hough Complex.  Fire managers must make their case for why their fire should be given priority for the use of the tankers.  In this case, the air attack supervisor said the two fires above Taylorsville have grown together and are making a push towards Taylorsville.

Read more: More large airtankers ordered for the Hough Incident


Military C-130 MAFFS airtankers drop on the Hough Complex

A C-130 MAFFS from the California Air National Guard drops retardant near the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on the Mountain Fire.  Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicholas Carzis.
Feather Publishing
Two C-130 MAFFS airtankers were used on the Hough Complex fires around noon on Monday.  These aircraft are operated by the Air National Guard in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

Some interesting facts about the Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) airtankers:

  • Operating one of the eight MAFFS aircraft costs $5,000 to $6,000 per hour. This is paid by the U.S. Forest Service or is charged to the fire.
  • After the crash of MAFFS 7 on the White Draw Fire near Edgemont, South Dakota in 2012, the  ”MAFFS 7″ number was retired.
  • The retardant is pumped out of the 3,000-gallon tank by compressed air stored in two tanks at 1,200 psi.
  • The MAFFS units were contracted by the U.S. Forest Service and manufactured by the  Aero Union company in Chico.
  • The military personnel working on a MAFFS aircraft typically fly for seven days, and then are relieved by a replacement crew.
  • The U.S. Forest Service supplies the ground support and retardant loading personnel when MAFFS are activated.

The C-130s reloaded in Chico following their drops.  While awaiting further orders, they were diverted to a new fire on the Stanislaus National Forest.  It is not know if they will return to help with the fires on the Plumas.


Indian Valley lightning strike captured on film

Feather Publishing
Harry Rogers from Key Brand Ranch submitted this photo taken on Sunday afternoon by his son Taylor Gipe Rogers.  They think this is the very strike that ignited the fire above the Neer Ranch. 

Smoke jumpers arriving at the Williams Fire

The Sherpa 330 is made by the Shorts Brothers in Northern Ireland and is known as a flying wing because of its unique, aerodynamic body shape. The Sherpa has a cruise speed of 160 knots, carries a standard load of ten smokejumpers.

8/19/2013 - 12:45 p.m.

A load of smokejumpers is currently jumping the Williams Fire near Homer Lake on Keddie Ridge.  A C-130 MAFFS airtanker is also enroute.  


Plumas N.F. Fire Update


The Plumas National Forest has issued the following update:

Lightning has sparked 15-25 small fires in the central and eastern portions of the Plumas National Forest. Three small fires north of Lake Davis have lines around them in addition to one in the Calpine Look-out area. The majority of the fires are in the Keddie Ridge/North Arm areas of Indian Valley near Taylorsville CA. Most of the fires are reasonably small. Several, including the Johnson (approx.10 acres) & Mt. Hough (approx. 130 acres) fires, on the north slope of Mt. Hough are very conspicuous, especially at night.

The Plumas County Sheriff issued voluntary evacuation notices to people living on Arlington Road between and including the Arlington Trailer Park and Johnson Ranch. Voluntary evacuation notices were also issued for people living on a short segment of North Valley Road near Diamond Mountain Road due to the 1/2 Mountain Fire. That fire has a line around it and is 80% contained.

Read more: Plumas N.F. Fire Update


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