Neptune Aviation says 7 of 9 aircraft are fighting wildfires alr - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Neptune Aviation says 7 of 9 aircraft are fighting wildfires already

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Neptune Tanker 15 Neptune Tanker 15

MISSOULA - Though summer has just arrived for most of Montana, Neptune Aviation is already sending in resources to suppress fires across the West.

"Today we have one in Texas, one in Colorado, two in Utah, one in Nevada, and two in California," says Neptune CEO Ron Hooper, referring to the numbers of their aircraft out fighting fires.

Hooper says the company sent its first plane to a wildfire in March, and things aren't showing any signs of slowing down.

"In 1960, your fire season was June through August. Now your fire season is as early as February through December," he says.

The longer fire season requires lots of resources. That's where the BAE 146 Aircraft comes in.

It's the type of aircraft sent to drop retardant on the Horse Park fire in Colorado, which is now 100 percent contained.

Neptune crews are already on to the next fire. Seven of the company's nine aircraft are fighting fires from the sky. They know the fight is far from over.

"They are pretty enthused about what they do, so we're ready here at Neptune and we hope to fulfill what we have been doing here for years, protecting the resources and the public," he says.

The company's maintenance crew is currently working on Tanker 15. Hooper says the U.S. Forest Service has been calling "every other day" to see when Tanker 15 will be ready to be sent out.

He says they're hoping it will by ready by the end of July.

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