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Updated Jun 12, 2012 - 6:06 pm

DC-10 firefighting craft arrives in Arizona

(Photo: Forest Service)

PHOENIX -- A large aircraft that has been outfitted to carry large loads of retardant to hammer wildfires arrived at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Monday night. It likely will be up in the air soon to fight fires in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

Dolores Garcia with the Bureau of Land Management said the DC-10 is easily capable of reaching Colorado and New Mexico because it carries a large fuel supply along with a heavy load of firefighting retardant.

"A typical airtanker carries about 2,000 gallons of retardant. The DC-10 carries just under 12,000 gallons. It's just another tool in the toolbox."

The Valley will be the primary base for the DC-10, which could reach Ruidoso, N.M., where the Little Bear Fire is burning, in about an hour before returning to Mesa to reload.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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