Fire-fighting DC-10 tanker heading to Mesa

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- The DC-10 tanker under contract with the U.S. Forest Service has been ordered to Arizona.

The converted passenger airliner is a unique fire-fighting tool, which has been busy in California this week. It's able to drop 11,600-gallon loads of red fire suppressant, creating lines one mile long around a fire.

While based in Mesa, the tanker will be available for drops on fires in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, in addition to Arizona.

Two single-engine planes and at least one tanker are already stationed at the Phoenix Interagency Fire Center at Mesa-Gateway Airport. They have been busy with fires in California and New Mexico.

Tonto National Forest officials say extra engines are also coming to Arizona from places like Montana and Northern California, where the fire danger is not as high.

They also have extra officers in the forests, talking to hikers and campers about fire danger.