Air tanker base gets new water line

MEDFORD, Ore. — The air tanker base in Medford is installing a new water line to help the air support working on fires in the region.

Justin Bohannan, the air tanker manager said this new water line has been a long time coming.

Since 2014 the base has only been running on one water line that consists of one fire hydrant and two hose lays. The water line was efficient however, he says the hose could break and they were very labor intensive to maintain.

Employers would have to roll out the hose everyday as well as rolling them up at the end of the day.

The new water being put in is much stronger and would get rid of some of the extra work employers had to do.

“We won’t have any issues with breaking and we’ll have a lot better water pressure,” Bohannan said. “The piping will actually be a lot larger than our hose lays so we’ll have a lot more water going in as well.”

The water gets pumped into a mixing lab that makes the retardant for the tankers. The new line is needed to keep up with the demand of retardant for the air tankers.

Bohannan says the water line should be up and running by next week.

Blakely McHugh is a weather forecaster and reporter for NBC5 News. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.

Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.

Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “Hi!”

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