Durango Air Tanker Base prepares for busy year

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Durango Air Tanker Base prepares for busy year

Wildfire season arrives early in Southwest Colorado
Pilot Joel Hampton with CO Fire checks his Air Tractor At-802 plane Tuesday at the Durango Air Tanker Base at the Durango-La Plata County Airport. The tanker base opened about two weeks earlier than it was scheduled to open because of the fire conditions in the area. The single-seat tanker has 1,600 horsepower and can carry 800 gallons of retardant.
Pilot Joel Hampton with CO Fire checks his Air Tractor At-802 plane Tuesday at the Durango Air Tanker Base at the Durango-La Plata County Airport. The tanker base opened about two weeks earlier than it was scheduled to open because of the fire conditions in the area. The single-seat tanker has 1,600 horsepower and can carry 800 gallons of retardant.

Durango Air Tanker Base prepares for busy year

Pilot Joel Hampton with CO Fire checks his Air Tractor At-802 plane Tuesday at the Durango Air Tanker Base at the Durango-La Plata County Airport. The tanker base opened about two weeks earlier than it was scheduled to open because of the fire conditions in the area. The single-seat tanker has 1,600 horsepower and can carry 800 gallons of retardant.
Pilot Joel Hampton with CO Fire checks his Air Tractor At-802 plane Tuesday at the Durango Air Tanker Base at the Durango-La Plata County Airport. The tanker base opened about two weeks earlier than it was scheduled to open because of the fire conditions in the area. The single-seat tanker has 1,600 horsepower and can carry 800 gallons of retardant.

Durango Air Tanker Base prepares for busy year

Jerran Flinders with the San Juan National Forest discusses the fire danger Tuesday at the Durango Air Tanker Base.

Durango Air Tanker Base prepares for busy year

Richard Bustamante with the San Juan National Forest explains worsening drought conditions and fire danger Tuesday at the Durango-La Plata County Airport. Currently, most of La Plata County is in exceptional drought, the most extreme category.

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