Posted: Jul 30, 2013 7:40 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
MISSOULA - The U.S. Forest Service has several air tankers at its disposal as fire season continues to flare up across Montana.
Officials say that on any given day there are five to eight tankers available for deployment.
Four of them are based in Missoula, so depending on the location of the fire the response times will vary.
The USFS decides when to call in these resources on a case by case basis, according to USFS Region One spokesman Phil Sammon.
"The dispatch centers in different parts of the country will dispatch certain resources based on a number of incident-specific conditions," he explained.
"Those being the type of fuels that the fire is in, the terrain, the weather and what this fire is near, if it's near urban or community areas and the potential for how quickly it may spread to another area," Sammon added.
The USFS is also contracting with a tanker company in Canada and Alaska if back up resources are needed.