An essential piece for fighting wildfires - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

A behind the scenes look into an essential piece for fighting wildfires

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Amarillo, TX- Air tankers are an essential piece in fighting wildfires and keeping you and your property safe. 

Pilots from across the United States have been assisting local firefighters, the Texas Forest Service and the US Forest Service in recent weeks with numerous wildfires in our area. 

The air tankers assist with dropping fire retardant on the places most affected by the blaze and the terrain that is harder for the firefighters on the ground to get to.

"Sometimes, we're getting the lay of the land, sometime we're trying to figure out what the ground guys need and of course if they want a drop real close to where they are working then they actually have to clear area, cause we don't want to drop anything on them and we don't want to hurt them, so that is usually what we are doing when we are circling we are just waiting for clearance to drop," says Jesse Weaver a single engine air tanker pilot.

The air tanker Weaver flies, carries 800 gallons of fire retardant at a time.

He says he has made between 30 and 40 drops while helping in the panhandle.