Photo Courtesy of Robin Halbert
HOT SPRINGS Ark.; (KTHV)-Firefighters are working hard this weekend, putting out wildfires in Saline and White Counties. With the dangerous conditions, hot weather and no rain on the horizon, the forestry commission is standing by with air tanks.
The single engine air tank takes off, filled with about 800 gallons of water. "They go and fill up with water and they fly over and drop the water on a designated area or put it out so that the crews can get in there and dig a fire line."
Shelia Doughty with Firewise Arkansas Forestry Commission says with the entire state under extreme wild fire danger they called in the air tanks early. "We usually have these planes on standby during the fire season which starts in August."
"We've had a lot of fires flare up across the state so we have requested that the seats come on standby early." And it's a good thing they did, the crews already worked to help put out two fires. "They did 18 drops of water and helped put out the fire that was burning in Clark County yesterday."
They released more water today in Saline County where a hundred acres burned up in Hensley. But water isn't all they release; there is about a half percent of foam mixed with the water so that it doesn't evaporate so quickly. Doughty says the crew will be on standby until we get a significant rainfall. "They are just very necessary to help contain fires and keep families and lives safe."