Air tanker company ready for fire season - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Air tanker company ready for fire season

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MISSOULA, Mont. - A Missoula air-tanker company has beefed up its firefighting capabilities. Neptune Aviation says it's ready for the summer fire season.

In fact, Neptune air tankers have already been deployed this year on wildfires in Florida, Georgia and California. The company now has ten P-Two air tankers in service, and an eleventh prepared to take flight this summer. That's four more than it had just a few years ago.

Neptune also announces it's highest roster of pilots ever, with about 30 trained and ready to fly slurry drops anywhere in the nation.

In May 2004, the U.S. Forest Service abruptly canceled its contract for eight of Neptune's air tankers, which put the company on the rocks. The next year, the Forest Service renewed its contract with the Missoula company.

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