Canadian Air Tankers Help Fight Murphy Fire

Jun 14, 2012

Crews continue to fight the Con Shea wildfire near the town of Murphy, southwest of Boise.  It was discovered last night (Wednesday) and spread quickly.  The latest update from the Bureau of Land Management puts the fire at nearly 9,000 acres.  Two air tankers from Canada have been helping fight the fire.

The planes flew from Saskatchewan to Boise earlier this week.  A wet spring up north, coupled with a shortage of large air tankers in the US and a busy fire season here, means the planes are available for the US Forest Service to hire.    

Pilot Lyle Ehalt dumped about 2000 gallons of retardant on the Con Shea fire this morning.  His mission was to slow it down on top of a hill.

“The Air Attack at the fire basically wanted us to lay a line on the west side of the fire, along a ridge," he says.

Ehalt says the retardant he dropped appeared to have worked.  The fire burned up to the line and then stopped.

He says before the Saskatchewan government bought his plane for fighting wildfires, it used to be in the Air Force One fleet, and carried President Gerald Ford. 

 

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio