Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Feds: Air tanker fleet incomplete ahead of wildfire season
A decade ago the U.S. Forest Service had more than 40 air tankers it
used to fight the nation's most destructive wildfires. Now the fleet has
dwindled down to 10. A number the agency's spokesperson Jennifer Jones
called "insufficient." "We've been working very hard to try and bring additional air tankers into service. It's proven to be very challenging and time consuming," said Jones.
Officials say five brand new aircraft that were supposed to be ready for take-off are grounded because they don't yet comply with federal standards.
"The next generation air tankers need to meet contract requirements to ensure they can fly safely and effectively," said Jones.
Of the 10 aircraft actually in service, eight of them are over a half century old.
"As the air tankers age the risks increase and so do the cost," said Jones.
Officials said they don't know when those five new aircraft will be ready.
Meantime, if additional air support is needed officials told CBS 5 the military and or private contractors as well as planes from Canada could be called in. KPHO