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Wildland Firefighting: U.S. Forest Service Issues Legacy Large Airtanker Contracts

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced Wednesday that the U.S. Forest Service has awarded legacy large airtanker exclusive-use contracts to two companies to provide a total of eight large airtankers to support wildland fire suppression through the 2013 fire season. These airtankers join a host of other ready firefighting equipment, including hundreds of helicopters and some 900 fire engines. "Legacy" aircraft are those that have been used as part of the Forest Service aviation program for years, and in some cases, decades. The agency is transitioning to the next generation of airtankers to replace this aging airtanker fleet. "These legacy airtankers will conti...

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