Airtanker 62 has arrived at the Medford Airtanker Base, located at the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport, and is ready for service. The aircraft is one of two airtankers on a state contract with Butler Aviation, based in Redmond. The second airtanker is stationed at the Redmond airport. Both planes are available for use statewide on wildfires threatening Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands.
Both airtankers are DC-7s capable of carrying 3,000 gallons of retardant or water.
Also, a helicopter for fire-fighting use is now stationed at the Oregon Department of Forestry's Medford Unit, located on Table Rock Rd. The helicopter is a Bell UH-1H that is used to ferry 350-gallon buckets of water to fires, or to sling equipment to firefighters working in remote areas. The helicopter is owned by Airlift Helicopters of Reno, Nev., and is under contract to ODF for the fire season.