Photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire, part 5 of 5

Tanker 101, an MD-87 (N291EA) Elephant Butte Fire
Tanker 101, an MD-87 (N291EA), on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.

The Elephant Butte Fire burned about 50 acres on steep terrain southwest of Denver two miles northwest of Evergreen Lake, Colorado. It was reported around 3 p.m. on Monday July 13 and the spread was stopped at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday July 14 by good work from firefighters in the air and on the ground, with a big assist from rain.

Skippyscage.com got some great photos of the aircraft battling the blaze, both while they were over the fire and at the air tanker base at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (JEFFCO) northwest of Denver. With his permission, we will showing you some of his shots in five installments.

Today we are featuring Tanker 101 (N292EA), an MD-87 operated by Erickson Aero Tanker.

Tanker 101, an MD-87 (N291EA) Elephant Butte Fire
Tanker 101, an MD-87 (N291EA), dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.
Tanker 101, an MD-87 (N291EA), dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire
Tanker 101, an MD-87 (N291EA), dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.

Click here to see the series of five installments of photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire, posted daily from July 17 through July 21, 2020.


Here are more photos of Tanker 101 from the archives.

air tanker durango
Air tankers 101 and 103 at Durango, CO May 28, 2018. Photo by Dave Herdman.
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.
Tankers 105, 06, and 101
Tankers 105, 06, and 101 (L to R) at Redmond OR, June 8, 2014. Photo by Jeff Ingelse.

Photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire, part 4 of 5

Today, three large, Type 1 CH54 helicopters

Helicopter 5HT, a CH54 fire N715HT
Helicopter 5HT, a CH54 (N715HT) at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport near Denver during the Elephant Butte Fire. Photo by skippyscage.com.

The Elephant Butte Fire burned about 50 acres on steep terrain southwest of Denver two miles northwest of Evergreen Lake, Colorado. It was reported around 3 p.m. on Monday July 13 and the spread was stopped at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday July 14 by good work from firefighters in the air and on the ground, with a big assist from rain.

Skippyscage.com got some great photos of the aircraft battling the blaze, both while they were over the fire and at the air tanker base at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (JEFFCO) northwest of Denver. With his permission, we will showing you some of his shots in five installments.

Today we are featuring CH-54 Type 1 helitankers operated by Helicopter Transport Service manufactured in 1968 and 1969, N715HT, N792HT, and N722HT.

Helicopter 2HT, a CH54 (N722HT)
Helicopter 2HT, a CH54 (N722HT) at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport near Denver during the Elephant Butte Fire. Photo by skippyscage.com.
Helicopter 2HT (N722HT) fire
Helicopter 2HT a CH54 (N722HT) dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.
Helicopter 92HT, a CH54 (N792HT) fire
Helicopter 92HT, a CH54 (N792HT) at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport near Denver during the Elephant Butte Fire. Photo by skippyscage.com.

Click here to see the series of five installments of photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire. They will be posted daily from July 17 through July 21, 2020.

Photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire, part 3 of 5

Today, featuring an AS350B3

Helicopter 3PA, an AS350B (N833PA)
Helicopter 3PA, an AS350B (N833PA) on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.

The Elephant Butte Fire burned about 50 acres on steep terrain southwest of Denver two miles northwest of Evergreen Lake, Colorado. It was reported around 3 p.m. on Monday July 13 and the spread was stopped at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday July 14 by good work from firefighters in the air and on the ground, with a big assist from rain.

Skippyscage.com got some great photos of the aircraft battling the blaze, both while they were over the fire and at the air tanker base at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (JEFFCO) northwest of Denver. With his permission, we will showing you some of his shots in five installments.

Today we are featuring Helicopter 3PA, an AS350B3, (N833PA) owned and operated by Firehawk Helicopters headquartered in Leesburg, Florida.

Helicopter 3PA, an AS350B (N833PA)
Helicopter 3PA, an AS350B (N833PA) on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.
Helicopter 3PA, an AS350B (N833PA)
Helicopter 3PA, an AS350B (N833PA) on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.

Click here to see the series of five installments of photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire. They will be posted daily from July 17 through July 21, 2020.

This article was updated July 21, 2020 to show that Helicopter 3PA is now owned and operated by Firehawk Helicopters.

Photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire, part 2 of 5

Today, featuring Tanker 02, a BAe-146

Tanker 02, a BAe-146, dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire
Tanker 02, a BAe-146, dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.

The Elephant Butte Fire burned about 50 acres on steep terrain southwest of Denver two miles northwest of Evergreen Lake, Colorado. It was reported around 3 p.m. on Monday July 13 and the spread was stopped at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday July 14 by good work from firefighters in the air and on the ground, with a big assist from rain.

Skippyscage.com got some great photos of the aircraft battling the blaze, both while they were over the fire and at the air tanker base at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (JEFFCO) northwest of Denver. With his permission, we will showing you some of his shots in five installments.

Today we are featuring Tanker 02, a BAe-146 operated by Neptune Aviation, N474NA.

Tanker 02, a BAe-146, dropping Elephant Butte Fire
Tanker 02, a BAe-146, dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.

Click here to see the series of five installments of photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire. They will be posted daily from July 17 through July 21, 2020.


Here are more photos of Tanker 02 from the archives.

This next one was taken when the U.S. Forest Service was experimenting with using an F-15 as a lead plane. (kidding!)

BAe-146 and F-15E
Neptune’s T-02 and an F15E. Photo by Colin Moeser in 2016.
Tanker 02, a BAe-146
Tanker 02, a BAe-146, at Missoula during winter maintenance May 25, 2018. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
Tanker 02, a BAe-146
Tanker 02, a BAe-146, at Missoula during winter maintenance May 25, 2018. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire, part 1 of 5

Today, featuring Tanker 22, a P3 Orion

Tanker 22 P3 Orion Elephant Butte Fire Colorado
Tanker 22, a P3 Orion, dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.

The Elephant Butte Fire burned about 50 acres on steep terrain southwest of Denver two miles northwest of Evergreen Lake, Colorado. It was reported around 3 p.m. on Monday July 13 and the spread was stopped by good work from firefighters in the air and on the ground, with a big assist from rain at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday July 14.

Skippyscage.com got some great photos of the aircraft battling the blaze, both while they were over the fire and at the air tanker base at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (JEFFCO) northwest of Denver. With his permission, we will showing you some of his shots in five installments.

Today we are featuring Tanker 22, a P3 Orion manufactured in 1964 formerly operated by Aero Union that was recently brought back to life by Airstrike Firefighters and Buffalo Airways. It is currently on a 75-day exclusive use (EU) contract with the state of Colorado. The aircraft is registered to Buffalo.

Tanker 22 P3 Orion Elephant Butte Fire Colorado
Tanker 22 , a P3 Orion, dropping on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.
Tanker 22 P3 Orion Elephant Butte Fire Colorado
Tanker 22, a P3 Orion, on the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.
Tanker 22 P3 Orion Elephant Butte Fire Colorado
Tanker 22, a P3 Orion, parked at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport after working the Elephant Butte Fire southwest of Denver, July 13, 2020. Photo by skippyscage.com.
Elephant Butte Fire
The Elephant Butte Fire, July 13, 2020. Photo by Jason Hamburg, park ranger with Jefferson County Open Space. It was taken from his fire lookout position on Jenkins Peak, looking south toward Elephant Butte.

Click here to see the series of five installments of photos of aircraft on the Elephant Butte Fire. They will be posted daily from July 17 through July 21, 2020.


Below are some archived photos of Tanker 22.

United Aeronautical acquired seven of Aero Union’s P3 tankers after the company declared bankruptcy. Buffalo Airways purchased T-22 from UA in 2014, and now it is operated by Airstrike Firefighters under an arrangement with Buffalo Airways. Another former Aero Union P3, T-23, has also been restored and is being operated by Airstrike.

Buffalo P3 Joe McBryan tanker 22
Ronald Guy (left) of United Aeronautical congratulates Joe McBryan (right) of Buffalo Airways on the purchase of Tanker 22, March 19, 2014 at McClellan Air Force Base March 19, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
P3 Orion air tanker 22
Tanker 22. Photo by Sergio Mara, Sacramento McClellan Airport, January 2019.
Aero Union's P3A Tanker 22
Aero Union’s P3A Tanker 22 getting reloaded at Hemet Ryan Air Attack Base, while another P3A is headed towards the fire. Photo by Joe Cupido. Date unknown, but it is from the Aero Union days, pre-2011.

The photoshopped photo of T-22 below won our contest in 2013 to create an image of an air tanker that had a sponsor. The contest was a spurred by a suggestion by Colorado State Senator Steve King, who said: “Can you imagine what the advertising value would be if you had a Colorado Rockies sign on the tail of a slurry bomber?”

Jerome Laval P3
Jerome Laval P3