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Huge Tanker Joins Firefight

VLAT plane

Since both Type 1 helicopters, which are the largest ships with the greatest carrying capacity, were down for maintenance, one of two DC-10 air tankers nationally was brought in for two retardant loads on the ridge above the Cache Creek drainage to help hold the line until firefighters could get in place. This aircraft known as a Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) can hold over 11,000 gallons of retardant, and when a full tank is dispensed continuously the slurry can cover up to one-mile of terrain. Firefighters on the Little Horsethief Canyon Fire had great success with burn-out operations on Wednesday. The plume of smoke visible in the afternoon was a result of about a 500 acre burn-out to reinforce the fire line on the west side of the fire. Fire Spokesperson Tracy Weaver explains a burn out consumes all potential fuel a fire may use as it marches forward. By lighting strategic fires where there were numerous fingers of unburned material, it makes the fire easier to contain. This morning, smoke from the burn lingers in the town, but this inversion is expected to lift by late.  As of the last measurement, the Little Horsethief Canyon Fire involved 2918 acres and was manned by 477 personnel.

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