Slowly but surely progress is being made on the Rim Fire in Tuolumne County. It has charred 213, 414 acres, but is now 35% contained.
Friday, helicopter pilots and ground crews continued their fight.
However, it was the quietest day in recent memory at Fresno's Air Attack Base.
“They haven't ordered any air tankers today for us to launch,” said John Harpain of the U.S. Forest Service.
The reason why was the sky, which was covered in thick smoke.
“When the visibility is low visibility it could create a hazardous situation for the aircraft and pilots,” said Harpain.
So John Harpain of the U.S. Forest Service and his team turned the unfavorable conditions into a valuable recovery day at the facility.
The base’s P2V tanker received some needed maintenance.
“It gives them a chance to change the oil and clean it up,” said Harpain.
Loading pits which became filthy the last two weeks were scrubbed down.
Four tanks were refilled with fire retardant. Combined, they hold 100,000 gallons. That's enough to load the P2V plane 100 times.
“When we get very busy we can do probably 50 or 60 loads a day,” said Harpain.
Harpain also reordered depleted resources such as drinks for firefighters and batteries for their radios.
“When you get busy, you can forget to keep those in stock,” said Harpain.
In the middle of a major incident, completing all of these tasks brings a huge sense of relief.
“It does make us feel like we can go a little bit longer and keep at it,” said Harpain.
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