by Ann Skarban
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
6/20/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Two
Air Force Reserve Command C-130s equipped with U.S. Forest Service
Modular Airborne Firefighter Systems responded to the Lime Gulch fire
in southern Jefferson County, Colo. June 19.
The U.S. Forest Service-generated launch order was received shortly
after 2 p.m. by the AF Reserve aircrews who were on alert status at the
Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, also in Jefferson County. Within 15
minutes of receiving the order, the MAFFS-equipped aircraft departed
for the fire.
The aircraft assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing
performed load and return missions, making seven MAFFS drops, releasing
more than 18,000 gallons of retardant to aid in the suppression of the
The MAFFS aircraft were activated by a U.S. Forest Service request for
assistance June 11 when the U.S. Forest Service was not able to fill
orders for airtankers with commercial assets.
"We needed to mobilize MAFFS earlier this year because we had more
widespread fire activity requiring airtanker support and fewer
commercial airtankers available. Last year by this time we had already
mobilized additional airtankers through cooperators in addition to our
exclusive use contract airtankers," said Jennifer Jones, public affairs
specialist with the U.S. Forest Service at the National Interagency Fire
Center in Boise,
Prior to the Lime Gulch fire, the MAFFS C-130s supported fire
suppression efforts on the Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs and
the Ward Gulch fire near Rifle, Colo.