"Although our planes and crews have returned
home, we all know MAFFS can still be reactivated
well into the fall," said Air Force Lt. Col.
Donald Taylor, 153rd Air Expeditionary Group
acting commander. "We have had a very busy
season and know it's still too early to say the
season is over for good."
According to 153rd Air Expeditionary Group
officials based in Boise, Idaho, this season has
become the second-highest in MAFFS history for
gallons of fire retardant dropped, surpassed
only by the MAFFS season of 1994 when about 5
million gallons were dropped. This season,
through Sept. 14, the MAFFS fleet released
almost 2.5 million gallons of fire retardant
during 1,011 drops on fires in 10 states.
MAFFS is a joint Defense Department and U.S.
Forest Service program designed to provide
additional aerial firefighting resources when
commercial and private air tankers are no longer
able to meet the Forest Service's needs.
As a self-contained aerial firefighting system
owned by the U.S. Forest Service, MAFFS can
discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire
retardant in less than five seconds, covering an
area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide.
Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled
in less than 12 minutes.
is the first year since 2008 that all four MAFFS
wings had been activated simultaneously,