Almost 100-thousand gallons of fire retardant has been dropped on local lightning fires


MEDFORD, Ore. – Firefighters are taking full advantage of air resources to fight more than 50 lightning-caused fires in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

The Medford Airtanker Base says August 18th was one of its busiest days, with multiple aircraft in the air for almost 12 hours dropping more than 98,000 gallons of retardant over the complex.

It says because the fires were so close they could send out tankers much faster, with only a 20-minute turn-around from the complex, back to the airfield.

“All in all it was a pretty good day. We were able to just turn around quickly and continue to support the people out there who are fighting the fires, the wildland firefighters who are on the ground, and the air support modules who are working with our air tankers to make sure the objectives get completed,” said Benjamin Crittenden, Manager at The Medford Airtanker Base.

He says the relatively high humidity during the night has helped keep the fires small. This means less smoke making it easier for pilots to operate.

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