Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:38 pm
Military considers joining firefighting sooner
By DAN ELLIOTTAssociated Press
The head of the U.S. Northern Command, Army Gen. Charles Jacoby, said Wednesday the option of calling up C-130 cargo planes sooner is under consideration as military and civilian leaders get ready for this year's wildfire season.
The Defense Department has eight C-130s that can be equipped to drop thousands of gallons of retardant on wildfires. Under current rules, they can't be called up unless all the civilian and commercial firefighting aircraft are in use or unavailable.
Last year's devastating wildfires across the West prompted some civilian leaders to question why the C-130s weren't activated sooner.