Created: 05/12/2014 10:27 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Winning the fight against a large fire means attacking from the skies.
On the Signal Fire, 17 aircraft are working daylight hours, each with a specific job.
From above, you can see how large the Signal Fire is growing.
The smoke creates serious hazards---the flames burning with intensity.
The ground crews are the meat and potatoes of fighting a wildland fire, and the aircraft is the gravy.
There are five helicopters working the Signal Fire.
They land at nearby lakes, suck in water, and then drop directly over the flames.
The Type 1 Helitanker is being used at the Signal fire and can carry 700 gallons of water.
It's most commonly known as an air crane and can travel for about 230 miles before needing to refuel.
There are eight airplanes dropping fire retardant and water. The P2V Neptune can carry up to 3,200 gallons of retardant. There are also other assorted aircraft in use.
The airborne firefight is managed by a lead plane that's up at all times. This is the command station for all flying aircraft. Fire personnel in this plane control drops, constantly assess the fire, and coordinate any other aircraft in the area.