AUSTIN, Texas — Battling wildfires has air tankers taking off all day, almost every day from the Austin Airport. The local air tanker base was activated because almost 8,000 wildfires have scorched Texas so far this year.
“This Very Large Airtanker (VLAT) is the only one stationed here in Texas,” said Jonathan Ross, manager of the Austin Airtanker Base.
The DC-10 in Austin is one of four VLATs in the nation. It will remain in Texas as long as it’s needed here more than it’s needed somewhere else. The air tanker base was activated in Austin because Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) is the only airport in the state setup for a Very Large Airtanker (VLAT) or DC-10.
The other air tanker base in Texas is in Abilene. Adding one in Austin is cutting wildfire response times in Central and East Texas.
Read more on this story at CBS Austin