Photos of air tankers at JEFFCO airport used on the Chatridge 2 Fire near Denver

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The fire burned 461 acres south of Denver June 29, 2020

Tankers 22 (a P-3, N922AU) and 02 (a BAe-146, NJ474NA)
Tankers 02 (left, a BAe-146, N474NA) and T-22 (a P-3, N922AU) at Jeffco 6-29-2020. Shane Hervey photo.

Shane Hervey shot these photos yesterday, June 29, at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco) near Denver while air tankers were working the Chatridge 2 Fire south of the city. The fire spread rapidly with strong winds and was stopped after burning 461 acres.

Tanker 22, a P-3 (N922AU), had just arrived in Colorado on June 27 to begin an exclusive use contract with the state. It was at Northern Colorado Regional Airport at Fort Collins when it was dispatched, then reloaded at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco).

Shane Hervey said he saw a total of six large air tankers and two single engine air tankers at JEFFCO yesterday.

Tanker 22 at JEFFCO
Tanker 22, A P-3 (N922AU), at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco) June 29, 2020 while working on the Chatridge 2 Fire south of Denver. Photo by Shane Hervey.

Vince Welbaum, the Aviation Unit Chief for the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, said the tanker will be primarily based at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport but will move to other bases as needed. The airport has a BlazeTamer fire retardant loading system, rather than more commonly seen Phos-Chek retardant system. BlazeTamer appears white when dropped, as opposed to Phos-Chek which is red. Mr. Welbaum said they anticipate that when dispatched to a fire the tanker will take off with BlazeTamer and then reload with retardant at other bases. Videos shot at the Chatridge 2 Fire yesterday showed it dropping both types of retardant.

Mr. Welbaum explained that the U.S. Forest Service has not established a cooperative agreement with Colorado to enable the P-3 to be used on federal fires. Without the agreement in place, it can only be used by the feds if lives are threatened.

More information about the fire is at Wildfire Today.

Tanker 22 Jeffco 6-29-2020
Tanker 22, A P-3 (N922AU), reloads at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco) June 29, 2020 while working on the Chatridge 2 Fire south of Denver. Photo by Shane Hervey.
Tanker 105 Jeffco wildfire
Tanker 105, an MD-87 (N296EA), taxiis at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco) June 29, 2020 while working on the Chatridge 2 Fire south of Denver. Photo by Shane Hervey.
Tanker 22 Jeffco
Tanker 22, A P-3 (N922AU), lands at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco) June 29, 2020 while working on the Chatridge 2 Fire south of Denver. Photo by Shane Hervey.
Tanker 101 (N291EA) at JEFFCO
Tanker 101 (an MD-87, N291EA) at JEFFCO, June 29, 2020. Photo by Steve Hervey.
Tanker 22, A P-3 (N922AU)
Tanker 22, A P-3 (N922AU), at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco) June 29, 2020 while working on the Chatridge 2 Fire south of Denver. Photo by Shane Hervey.
Tanker 22 at JEFFCO
Tanker 22, A P-3 (N922AU), at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (Jeffco) June 29, 2020 while working on the Chatridge 2 Fire south of Denver. Photo by Shane Hervey.

Thanks Shane!

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