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Medford Photos & Scenes

We have had many calls from our customers from out-of-state who have heard about the forest fires that are raging here in our neck-of-the-woods.  We thought we would go out and take some pictures of the planes that are involved in the daily air to ground combat.

There are three Forest Service planes involved.  The "15", the "21", and the "Montana".  The "Montana" has the state flag of Montana on the tail fin, hence the name.

To view larger versions in this gallery, just click on the picture.  Hope you enjoy seeing these planes in action.

It is interesting to note that it has now been two years since these pictures were taken.  About one year ago, Medford almost lost our tanker base.  It was going to be relocated to Klamath Falls, Oregon.  With the help of these pictures, and the publicity generated by them, the Medford tanker base is still in operation protecting our forests.  June 13, 2003

The "15"

The "15" has just been reloaded and prepares for takeoff to the North.

The "15" and Montana.

Crews work to get these two planes ready to go back into the air.

The Montana.

The Montana gets ready for taxi to the runway.

The Montana.

The Montana, here on loan to assist in the air assault, making its way to the takeoff position.

The "21" arrives.

The "21" just returned from dropping its payload. In about 20 minutes it will be off again.

Close-up of the "21"

The 21 arrives to take on another load.

21's Reflection.

The pond in the foreground is where the overflow from the tanker is stored.

The "21" pulls in.

The 21 is now just about in position to take on more fire retardant chemicals.

The ground crew.

NO, these guys are not just standing around. They are actually pushing and rocking this bag of chemicals to get it to mix with the water as the aircraft takes on a new load.

The "15" is ready.

The pilot is just starting the engines and prepares to taxi into position.

The "21" loads up.

The 21 is now in line to take on its payload.

The "21" takes off.

The 21, with a full load, takes off to the North.

The "21" on its way.

The 21 has been up for just about 20 seconds now and has just cleared the North end of the runway.

The "21" into the smoke.

Boy did I have to turn around fast to get this one. The "21" heads into the smoke filled air above Medford.

Smoke filled sky.

Looking Southwest to where the fires are located.

The "21" returns.

From the time she left to the time she returned is only about 30 minutes.

The "21" on final approach.

The 21 is now landing from the South and is just now over the runway.

United Waits.

A United Airlines commercial flight waits as the "21" lands.

Montana behind United.

With the 21 out of the way, United prepares for takeoff. The Montana will roll out next, just behind the United flight.

Montana on its way.

With the United flight in the air, the Montana now starts its takeoff roll.

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