Fighting Western Slope fires by air

Fighting Western Slope wildfires by air.
Fighting Western Slope wildfires by air.(KKCO)
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 4:21 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The grand junction regional airport has been a hot spot for BLM air tankers to prepare to fight the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek fires.

Air tankers tackling the fire have four bases in the state, including the Grand Junction Regional Airport.

The fire bombers use the airport to land, reload with fire retardant and aviation fuel. But the fires and heavy traffic have brought up some concerns for people who have plans to travel, wondering if the smoke and air traffic will postpone their flight.

“At this time commercial air traffic has not been affected by the smoke in the valley, they’re operating on schedule as expected,” Grand Junction Regional Airport Joe Burtard says.

The retardant helps slow the spread of the fire, some of the larger air tankers carry around 8,000 gallons.

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