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Is there a better way to fight fire?

| July 13, 2007 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

Regarding the current massive wildfires in at least nine states, I'm outraged at the U.S. Forest Service refusing to use the Supertanker water bombing aircraft like the DC-10 supertanker in Victorville, Calif. (the only on line 12,000 gallon supertanker firefighting aircraft in our country), visit: DC-10 supertanker on the Internet.

The DC-10 unfortunately is down for maintenance but should be back shortly. I saw an interesting media report that is a solution while the DC-10 supertanker is being repaired. The Russians at waterbomber.com have a fleet of six supertanker aircraft like the DC-10 that have been successfully fighting fires around the world for over 12 years and have always offered to come in and stop our fires on a cost only basis. However they have always been unjustly refused by our U.S. Forest Service mismanaging our forests as shown at www.JBS.org (search:wildfire). As they can respond immediately and stop massive fires in one or two days that would otherwise burn for weeks or months it seems prudent to call them in at this time to save homes and lives while the DC-10 is being repaired.

Meanwhile we should get the Evergreen Aviation Boeing 747 supertanker in Oregon, (24,000 gallon capacity) ready for service as a back up tanker. We need this quick action now as hundreds of homes have been burned and lives destroyed with obviously more to follow. Only public outcry will force these supertankers to be used as the self-serving U.S. Forest Service has refused to use them for over 12 years causing terrible loss of life, homes, and wildlife. Contact every public official and demand these aircraft stop these fires now and build more Supertankers.

Larry Swanberg

Victorville, Calif.