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A 747 SuperTanker has joined Cal Fire to battle fires




The B747-400 SuperTanker is the true “Next Gen” air tanker. Now, they're working with Cal Fire.
The B747-400 SuperTanker is the true “Next Gen” air tanker. Now, they're working with Cal Fire.
Via Global SuperTanker on Vimeo

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Look, up in the sky!

It's a bird!

It's a plane!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdAX8WVXtVI

Oh, wait. It is a plane. A 747 to be exact. For the cool price of $16,500 per flight hour, one of these wide-bodies is now part of the state's fleet of aircraft used in tackling wildfires.

Cal Fire shares the use of the plane with other states and it's called on as needed, mostly when fires are high on a ridge and difficult to reach with a ground crew.

Cal Fire deployed the 747 for the second time this past weekend to battle a blaze in Riverside County. Mike Mohler is a battalion chief with Cal Fire and he told Take Two's A Martinez that the plane is a "tool in the tool box" and, as fires grow more fierce, it's needed.

"You have to look at firefighting, when you have wild land fire, it really is a paramilitary operation," Mohler said. "Planes and helicopters don't put fire out - they need the assistance of the ground troops - <but> absolutely aircraft have to be used, especially in the type of conditions we have in California." 

To hear the full conversation with Chief Mohler about how the state plans to use the 747s and why planes are essential to fighting fires, despite the costs,  click the blue play button above.