Tanker 101 on the Moonfish Fire

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Air tanker 101 Moonfish Fire Florida
Air Tanker 101, an MD-87, drops on the Moonfish Fire in Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida. It was dropping plain water, rather than retardant or another chemical, due to the sensitivity of the Everglades ecosystem. Photo by Megan Hurrell.

Air Tanker 101, an MD-87, has been working on several wildfires in Florida over the last week.

May 7-8: repositioned from Alamogordo, New Mexico to Lake City, Florida, then delivered four loads of water on the Moonfish Fire in Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida, one on May 7 and three on May 8. It was dropping plain water, rather than retardant or another chemical, due to the sensitivity of the Everglades ecosystem. (about 320 miles south of the Lake City Airport)

May 11: Made six drops on the High Hill Fire in the Apalachicola National Forest in the Florida panhandle southwest of Tallahassee. (about 134 miles west of the Lake City Airport)

May 14: Two drops on the 36th Ave. SE Fire east of Naples in south Florida.(about 281 miles south of the Lake City Airport)

air tanker 101 sorties Florida

9 thoughts on “Tanker 101 on the Moonfish Fire”

  1. Poor planning wrong air tanker type..What a waste of time and Money, several water scooping aircraft available that could make 40 + drops in a single fuel cycle. CL-415 or fireboss.

    1. Or better yet a type 1 helicopter, water would go where it’s needed and far cheaper than both a heavy air tanker or a super scooper

      1. Mike, Ted and Jon have my vote for managers of the Federal air tanker/copter program. Lets throw-in some more (out of box) dynamic thing, initial attack. Dr. Gabberts Rx prescription for successfully stopping evolving/threatening wild fires.

    2. That is NOT the kind of dynamic thinking we need in the Forest Service. Realistic aggressive fire attack. Another thought along those lines. Eliminate all the Fed tanker bases and have one facility in Oklahoma City. All LAT and VLATS would be stationed there. It would make it easier for air attack to assign a reload base, only one. “T 744 reload Oak City, ETA?”

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