Fires

Global SuperTanker joins fight against Marsh Fire in Contra Costa County

SuperTanker fights Liberty Fire

The Global SuperTanker, a modified Boeing 747, fought fires around California last year, including the Liberty Fire near Murrieta.
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The Global SuperTanker, a modified Boeing 747, fought fires around California last year, including the Liberty Fire near Murrieta.

The Global SuperTanker — the modified Boeing 747 aircraft outfitted to hold retardant and water — has been called to help in the fight against the Marsh Fire in Contra Costa County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Cal Fire spokesman Brice Bennett confirmed the aircraft’s involvement in fire suppressant efforts Wednesday. The aircraft — named the Spirit of John Muir — is based at the McClellan Airport.

The Marsh Fire started east of Mount Diablo near Marsh Creek Road and is 225 acres with no containment as of Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. Cal Fire’s first report of the fire was on Wednesday at 2:38 p.m. The fire has grown over 150 acres in four hours.

The SuperTanker first aided in this season’s fight against wildfires during the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County. Clearance for the SuperTanker was delayed this season due to technical glitches, according to Global SuperTanker CEO Jim Wheeler.

“These deployments are dependent on many factors — weather conditions, containment, available assets — that are impossible to predict,” Wheeler said. “It is our understanding that Cal Fire is currently stretched to the limit with its current assets, but we do not know how things will change in the coming days or weeks. One of the reasons wildfire is so terrifying is because it is unpredictable.”

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