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Why Fewer Air Tankers Means More Big Wildfires

Brad Washa
Boise National Forest

Wildland firefighters throughout the West had a difficult summer last year. Hotter and drier weather than usual - along with forests full of dead trees - created conditions ripe for large fires.  On top of that, the large planes that drop fire retardant were in short supply. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise says about half of last year’s requests for air tanker drops went unfilled.

Wednesday on KBSX's Morning Edition, we spoke with Bill Gabbert about the relationship between air tankers and firefighting efforts on the ground. He fought fires for more than 30 years, and now blogs about wildfire matters. Gabbert told us air tankers are a key part in limiting growth when a fire is brand new.

Click here for the interview:

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