The interior has seen hundreds of fires this season, keeping the Division of Forestry and the Alaska Fire Service busy. One of the work horses of the fleet is the stout plane called the “Fire Boss.”
"It's the largest single engine airplane in production. Its symmetrical weight is 16–thousand pounds. It can haul up to 8–thousand pounds in the hopper – 800 gallons which normally in water that equates to about 64–hundred pounds of water," said Chief Pilot, Jesse Weaver. With the help of the Fire Boss, Weaver can fill up the water tank at a lake or ocean in about 15 seconds, which can quickly be used to help put out a fire.
"Aircraft like this is ideally suited, if it's in the right place to keep fires from getting big," Weaver said.
To ensure success when working to extinguish a fire, help from the Air Attack team comes in handy.
"Firefighting is a team effort and the Air Attacks role is really to help enhance the team effort between the air resources and the ground resource," said John Lyons, Air Attack Pilot. Lyons and the Air Attack squad is the critical link in providing communication for ground and air efforts.