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.|
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.