Amarillo Takes Firefighting to the Sky

- AMARILLO -- Wildfire season continues across the high plains, but a new addition to Rick Husband International Airport could make Amarillo the base for firefighting all around the high plains.

The Amarillo City Council decided earlier this week to lease some of the airport out to the Texas A&M Forest Service, land that will be used as an air base and as a temporary home for two new air-crafts.

They're called Air Tract AT 802-F Single Engine Air Tankers, other-wise known as 'SEAT'.

SEAT's have the capability to spread up to 800 gallons of fire retardant at one time, and two of these behemoths already kept at Rick Husband have been put to the test.

"On Monday, we had a grassfire out on South Washington, and these fire fighting planes really saved our bacon," said City Council Person Ellen Robertson Green. "When the grassfire started it could've gotten out of hand so quickly, but they were able to go drop fire retardant and get it out quickly."

Troy Ducheneaux with the Forest Service tells us the SEAT's will be used to fight fires not only here in Texas, but all around the high plains.

The air-base is being leased out to the Texas A&M Forest Service at no cost.

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