{{featured_button_text}}
New tanks at airport

The larger tanks will give the Forest Service's tanker base the capability to more effectively serve "Very Large Airtankers," or VLATS, used in wildfire suppression.

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest says new tanks installed in Helena will help it better serve larger aircraft to combat wildfires.

tanks

Tanks on a semi-trailer show the size difference between a 10,000-gallon unit on the left and 25,000-gallon unit on the right.

The Helena Aviation Center recently installed new pumps: two 25,000-gallon tanks of liquid concentrate and one 25,000 gallon off-load tank. The larger tanks replace 10,000-gallon tanks and will give the Forest Service’s tanker base the capability to more effectively serve "Very Large Airtankers," or VLATS, used in wildfire suppression.

VLAT dropping a load of retardant

A VLAT drops a load of retardant on a wildfire burning near Holmes Gulch just inside Jefferson County in 2017. A VLAT, or Very Large Air Tanker, can hold upward of 11,000 gallons of retardant, about four times the capacity of the average propeller-driven tanker.

In the 2017 Holmes Gulch fire that ignited a couple of miles southeast of Helena, a VLAT that was at the Helena Regional Airport was used to help slow the spread of the wildfire before it endangered homes.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin

1
0
0
0
0

Natural Resources Reporter

Natural Resources Reporter / Assistant Editor for The Independent Record.

Load comments