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  • By JEREMY FUGLEBERG Casper Star-Tribune

CASPER, Wyo. — Rick Hopf needs to go bomb a fire.

The DC-10 air tanker he flies has stood by, resting on the apron of the Casper/Natrona County International Airport all day Tuesday, as smaller aircraft fight the flames scorching Casper Mountain.

But the midafternoon call has come.

Hopf is polite but firm to a few people visiting the plane: "We do have a dispatch, so I'm going to have ask you to leave."

The three-person crew — Hopf, fellow pilot Dan Montelli and flight engineer Rich Joseph — don flight suits and close the hatch.

A ground crew loads the giant tanks slung under the belly of the jet with 11,700 pounds of orange fire retardant mixed with water from nearby tanks.

  • Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A think tank says the U.S. Forest Service should pursue a much different strategy for using airplanes to fight wildfires, one…

  • Associated Press

CHEYENNE — Six military cargo planes that are employed to drop fire retardant around wildfires have been moved to air tanker bases in Utah and…

It’s a sight not often seen this summer at the Billings Inter-agency Dispatch Center’s headquarters just to the east of Billings Logan International Airport: airplanes on the ground.

  • Associated Press

CHEYENNE — The demise of the only company that manufactured a device specially designed to spray fire retardant from the back of U.S. military…

  • Associated Press

CHEYENNE — Add another concern for the tanker plane pilots who barnstorm low over treacherous terrain, in vintage aircraft, to bomb fire retar…

  • Associated Press

CHEYENNE — President Barack Obama signed a bill this week hastening the addition of seven large tanker planes to the nation's rundown aerial f…

  • Associated Press

A group of Western senators says the U.S. Forest Service may not be moving quickly enough to build up and replace the fleet of aging planes th…

  • By ROB CHANEY Missoulian

MISSOULA -- U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has cleared the way for continued use of aerial fire retardant as long as pilots use special…

  • ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has cleared the way for continued use of aerial fire retardant as long as pilots use special maps to avo…

  • By ROB CHANEY Missoulian

MISSOULA -- A massive new map collection should keep firefighting air tankers and the fire retardant that they drop from hurting fish and othe…

  • Associated Press

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A federal judge Wednesday ordered the U.S. Forest Service to take a tougher look at the possibility that routinely droppin…