Wildfire deployment ends for NC Air National Guard
Posted September 4, 2013 3:42 p.m. EDT
Charlotte, N.C. — U.S. Forest Service officials said Wednesday that western wildfires are contained enough that two North Carolina Air National Guard planes can return home from California on Thursday.
The two C-130 Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System planes are part of the 145th Airlift Wing and have been on duty at McClellan Air Tanker Base outside of Sacramento, Calif., in recent weeks to help battle raging wildfires in the region.
The Forest Service said wildfire activity had begun to moderate, and that, along with the increased availability of civilian air tankers, will allow the release of the military aircraft, their crews and ground support personnel.
Three C-130s from the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard, left California Wednesday. Two others, from the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, will stand down at their home airfield, officials said.
C-130 crews have flown 572 missions since June and have made 535 drops, totaling almost 1.4 million gallons of fire retardant, on fires in Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California and Nevada.