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Call for change in policy

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The situation in Los Alamos reflects so many other areas that are vulnerable to wildfires. Tragedy can be alleviated and losses kept to minimum through a change in national policy. I am referring to the policy of contracting for air fire suppression.
Consider the C-17 Globemaster: 1. A load capacity of 170,000 lbs. (that’s  21,250 gallons of water). 2. Capable of dropping loads near ground level. 3.  There are three squadrons based at Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington. 4.  Range is 2,400 nautical miles fully loaded. 5. Capable of operating from  airfields of 3,500 ft of runway and 90ft width. 6. Their mission is to:  
“Provide services and support, which promote quality of life and project  global power through combat-proven airlift and airdrip.”
Knowing the capabilities, a flight of five with a total of 106,250 gallons of  water or fire suppressants could provide saturation on a fire from  practically any altitude in formation or singly. How much would it cost the  taxpayers of the US for that service?
How much do you pay now for having them  fly supplies around the world on military and humanitarian missions? Its time  to realize that we have assets at hand that can effectively address the  challenge.
When a situation reaches a critical point, traditional methods of addressing  the danger must be changed to protect life and property. We should not allow  government regulations or agency policies to dictate our fate when a better solution is available.

Don Senecal
Los Alamos