Firefighting Air Stations, Planes Now Operational

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- New airport stations designed to serve a firefighting plane in rural Nebraska are now up and running.

The Nebraska Forest Service said Tuesday that the state-contracted plane and crew arrived last week for a two-month stint during the summer wildfire season.

The state forest service recently hired a manager for the single-engine air tanker base in Chadron. Bases are also located in Valentine and Alliance, in addition to a mobile unit. The bases serve as storage facilities for water and flame retardant, allowing the plane to reload and circle back to a fire quickly.

The planes and bases were approved after massive wildfires in 2006 and 2012 that threatened lives and property. Nebraska has not seen any major fires so far this year.

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