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Cal Fire to begin their contract with the Very Large Airtankers

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner)

MEDFORD, Ore. - Another component fire agency say will help tremendously is adopting the Very Large Airtankers otherwise known as the VAT’s into their emergency resource pool.

Right now the 747 aircraft, which could provide 15,000 gallons of water, 10,000 more than currently available to most agencies, is undergoing inspection by the Interagency Airtaker Board.

"If you can imagine that certification process is very rigorous given these types of aircrafts. One, they're being used in a manner they're not designed for and two, they have to operate within a 0 margin of error in a very dynamic and inherently dangerous environment," said Janet Upton, the Cal Fire Deputy Director.

The 747 vendor has received interim approval.

Cal Fire is moving forward with their contract, which could go into effect in the coming days.

The U.S. Forest Service hopes to follow in the same steps.

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