By Kelly Ryan
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Crews battling the Rocky Fire got help from out of the state with two C-130’s from Colorado.
The planes from Peterson Air Force Base arrived at McClellan Air Force Base on Monday, ready to help crews get a handle on the fire that has burned more than 60,000 acres.
The tankers can drop 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in seconds.
“With the high activity level we’ve been experiencing we immediately worked with the National Guard to activate the California National Guard C-130 tankers, which there are two of them here in California as well as 9 of their helicopters,” Cal Fire Spokesman Daniel Berlant said.
Cooler temperatures have helped, but not enough.
“When we get a fire this size we want to really be able to drop a lot of retardant slowing it down and that’s where the DC-10s C-130s and other large air tankers are critical in our firefight,” he said. “The fire is creating its own weather pattern and its own wind and spreading erratically despite the cooler temperatures.”
Cal Fire is also using its fleet of small and medium tankers, but it’s the big aircraft that will help the 3,000 firefighters on the ground.
“When we get into high levels of fire activity and bring in large air tankers like a DC-10, our smaller regional air bases can’t fit the DC-10 because it’s so large and needs a much larger age base that’s where McClellan is critical for us,” he said.