The Matt Staff Rd Fire east of Helena
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation posted an excellent video of air tanker 914, a DC-10, dropping retardant on the Matt Staff Rd Fire.
DNRC’s County Assist Team has assumed command of the Matt Staff RD fire. Great progress was made thanks to the efforts of firefighters, aircraft, and calmer weather conditions. Here’s a video of an airtanker working with crews to slow fire progress. #mtfire #fireyear2022 pic.twitter.com/YpiIrgZQY1
— MT DNRC FIRE (@MTDNRCFIRE) August 6, 2022
The fire has burned 1,538 acres 13 miles east of Helena, Montana between Canyon Ferry Lake and US Highway 287.
All evacuations on the fire were lifted at 8 p.m. Friday, August 5th. Matt Staff Road is still closed to the public. Montana’s County Assist Team assumed command of the fire at 12 p.m. on August 5th. The cooler temperatures and brief rain Saturday morning were beneficial to firefighting efforts.
The terrain seen in the video is not extreme, but appears to be outside the parameters NASA expected for a very large air tanker such as a DC-10.
Here is an excerpt from the NASA report issued March 2, 2009, titled “USFS Very Large Air Tanker Operational Test and Evaluation.”
The analysis suggests that for level or gently rolling terrain where level to slight descents (< 6-7%) are required, VLAT-class aircraft could probably be employed with few restrictions as long as they remained above 300’ AGL during the delivery.
Check out the video below posted by Kevin Osborne showing a DC-10 making a downhill drop in 2012 on the Goff Fire on the Klamath National Forest in Northern California.
Names of fires
On a related subject, here is my plea for initial attack and dispatcher personnel to keep the names of fires simple. One word is preferred, but certainly no more than two. Think about how many times the name will have to written, spoken, and typed into forms. Will spelling be easy, or will it be misleading, such as “Camp Fire”, or Road vs Rd?