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Large tanker aircraft are deployed from Colorado Springs airport to fight the fires

Large tanker aircraft are deployed from Colorado Springs airport to fight the fires

Large tanker aircraft are deployed from Colorado Springs airport to fight the fires

Tanker truck dumps retardant on Oak Ridge fire

Courtesy: Oak Ridge Fire 2024

(COLORADO SPRINGS) — As the Oak Ridge Fire continues to burn in Custer and Pueblo counties, those living in Colorado Springs may have seen large air tankers (LATs) taking off from the Colorado Springs Airport (COS).

According to a COS Facebook post over the weekend, U.S. Forest Service air tankers are being deployed from the airport to help fight wildfires. “If you’ve noticed the planes coming and going, they are likely involved in seasonal firefighting efforts,” COS wrote.


Large tanker plane at Colorado Springs airport
Courtesy: Colorado Springs Airport

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, LATs can deliver up to 4,000 gallons of fire retardant, and according to an Oak Ridge Fire spokesperson, LATs have been used over the past week and into this weekend to assist in firefighting efforts.

While LATs are still being deployed to fight the blaze, as of Tuesday morning, July 2, helicopters are being used as the primary air resource. A spokesperson told FOX21 that helicopter pilots can more easily locate hot spots and work more closely with ground crews.

The Oak Ridge Fire remains at 1,190 acres with 5% containment as of the latest update Tuesday morning.