This DC-10 supertanker, retrofitted to drop a mile-long line of fire retardant, is one big honker of a plane. It has a greater drop capability and twice the speed of any other federal air tanker currently fighting fires. It carries a massive payload of fire retardant, which is about many times the volume of the government’s largest air tankers.
And the DC-10 is also equipped with a pressurized system that has the capability to disperse retardant at high pressure for an overwhelming response or disperse at the speed of falling rain in a single or several segmented drops. To top it off, it can even fly at night, when the fire is usually less active. So why wasn’t it called into service to fight the Wallow fire sooner?