Skip to main content /US /US

Firefighting planes grounded after crash

BOISE, Idaho (CNN) -- The U.S. Forest Service has grounded five air tankers used to fight fires because they're the same model as the one that crashed when its wings came off Monday in western Nevada.

The planes may be back in action by the end of the week, according to National Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman Nancy Lull.

Forest Service official Pat Norbury made the decision to ground the five C-130A tankers while officials investigate the crash, Lull said Tuesday. The planes make up only a small percentage of the tankers used to fight fires.

"We'll continue to use air tankers," Lull said, noting that others will be moved to cover the area where the grounded tankers were assigned.

Thirty-eight air tankers, contracted by federal officials through private companies, are now assigned across the country to fight fires. Most are in the West. Four military C-130s are being used to fight fires in Colorado, Lull said.

Three people were killed in Monday's crash as the tanker fought a fire in the Toiyabe National Forest in western Nevada, police said. The plane's wings appeared to tear off from the body, which then burst briefly into flames and crashed across the state line in Walker, California.

The four-engine tanker was one of 10 aircraft battling the 5,000-acre blaze near the state line, about 90 miles south of Reno.




Back to the top