Firefighters at Rest

On the way into work this morning I took this picture

……..and this one of slurry bombers that the Forest Service has based at the Santa Barbara Airport. These P-3 Orions spent the early part of their lives patrolling for Soviet submarines, but have been extremely busy lately fighting the Day Fire in Ventura County that I posted on last week. As the LA Times reports, this fire has burned 159,000 acres so far and is finally reaching populated areas. Some of the first structures burned in this fire went up yesterday.

The Forest Service has set up this information display outside of what they call the Goleta Air Attack Base. The slurry carried by the bombers is based on a phosphate-rich fertilizer, which actually will help regrowth after the fire. The P-3s carry something like 2,400 gallons. I can hear them groaning down the runway with this heavy burden all day long. The left side of the display has a map of the Day Fire’s extent.

The display also shows that firefighting from the air is serious business. The two pedestals with brass plaques are memorials to flight crews killed in the line of duty.

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