Texas Forest Service calls in air tanker to fight Bastrop fire

Texas A&M Forest Service has called in a DC-10 air tanker to help battle the wildfire raging through Bastrop County, where 30 homes have been destroyed.
According to the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Department, more than 30 homes have been destroyed by a wildfire that began Tuesday, but that 25 percent of it had been contained.
Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for Bastrop County Thursday after getting a briefing on the fires that have burned more than 4,300 acres and forced the evacuation of about 400 homes.
The tanker called in by the A&M Forest Service can drop close to 12,000 gallons of retardant at a time, spreading a swath three-quarters of a mile long and 500 feet wide. It is also able to divide its load into five separate drops if needed.
The Very Large Air Tanker, VLAT, is coming from the West Coast and headed to the Hidden Pines Fire in Bastrop County, Texas. It is expected to be available Friday morning.
TFS plans to use the plane strategically to protect structures, homes and to stop the forward progression of the wildfire.
Fire suppression resources are spread across Texas battling numerous wildfires fueled by drought and critical fire weather conditions. The DC-10 — as well as the other air and ground resources that we currently have in the state — hopefully will provide much-needed protection for communities and relief for firefighters.
To keep up with the most up-to-date information visit http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/currentsituation