Air Tankers Make Water Drops on Bent County Fire


A small, single engine plane makes a close run to the ground, combatting the Bent County Fire

Larger aircraft have been making several water drops each load on the fire as of Wednesday.

13,500 acres of prairie have been burned in the Bent County fire since Saturday afternoon. According to Chris Sorensen, Public Information Officer for the Bent County Sheriff’s Office, heavy and light airplanes have been making water drops on the fire as of Wednesday morning.

“A combination of large tankers and a single engine plane, similar to a crop duster have been at work today,” Sorensen said. He added, “The small plane carries 600 gallons for a single drop and the larger plane has been making several, pin-point drops on the fire from a single load.” Sorensen said the lack of wind and increased humidity Tuesday and Wednesday have been an added help in combating the blaze.

“We have 100 firefighters in the field right now (Wednesday afternoon), working south and west from John Martin Dam,” Sorensen explained. Tuesday night, firefighters burned several hundred acres as protection from the fire’s advance into Las Animas. Sorensen said the action also helped to rob the fire of additional fuel. “ We’ve made outstanding progress over the past 36 hours, but we still have a way to go,” he added. Firefighters made an extra effort between 11pm and 1pm last night, to make sure the fire didn’t spread across the Burlington Northern rail line.

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