Send in the SuperTanker? 'That's an option for the incident commander'
FILE - This May 5, 2016, file photo provided by Global Supertanker Services shows a Boeing 747 making a demonstration water drop at Colorado Springs Airport in Colorado Springs, Colo. The giant passenger jet converted to fight wildfires but grounded by U.S. officials during much of this year's fire season could be aloft much more next year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, sided with Global SuperTanker Services in its protest against the U.S. Forest Service. The Colorado-based company challenged the Forest Service's 5,000-gallon (19,000-liter) limit on air tankers that kept the 19,000-gallon (72,000-liter) Boeing 747-400 idle until late August. After that it flew only in California. (Hiroshi Ando/Global Super Tanker Services LLC via AP, File)
EUGENE, Ore. - As fires rage out of control in Oregon, several people have asked:
Where is the Global SuperTanker?
The firefighting 747 can carry 19,000 gallons of water - and dump it all as fast as 7 seconds, acting like a hurricane on a fire.
According to the aircraft's owners, it is parked in Sacramento. The plane could be called on and ready to go within 30 minutes.
The aircraft worked on the Klamathon Fire in northern California.
And it is available for use in Oregon, in the right circumstances.
"That's an option for the incident commander, depending on the landscape, the smoke conditions, the wind - all those come into play," said Doug Grafe with the Oregon Department of Forestry. "Timing is important for those large air tankers."