Local News

N.C. Air National Guard to Aid Wildfire Fight

Posted October 23, 2007 11:52 a.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2007 12:24 p.m. EDT

The North Carolina Air National Guard will deploy three C-130 cargo aircraft, flight crews and support personnel to California to help the U.S. Forest Service battle a series of wildfires across the southern part of the state, officials said Tuesday.

The aircraft are a part of the 145th Airlift Wing based at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. About 50 people will deploy to operate the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, a series of pressurized tanks loaded into the C-130 cargo area that hold 3,000 gallons of flame-retardant liquid. The aircraft drop retardant along the leading edge of a wildfire to block the spread of flames.

It's unclear how long the aircraft and personnel will remain in California, officials said.

The North Carolina Division of Forestry doesn't plan to send any personnel to California, saying the drought in North Carolina has increased the potential for wildfires in the state.