A U.S. Air Force C-130 equipped with a Modular Airborne Firefighting System drops fire retardant to help combat the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs that has burned more than 18,500 acres and displaced more than 30,000 people in the area. U.S. Northern Command has also used its immediate response authorities to provide bulldozers, military fire trucks and soldiers to cut fire breaks.
In our 2010 study, Broadening Horizons: Climate Change and the U.S. Armed Forces, we noted that the Department of Defense may be called on to respond to more frequent and intense wildfires as a consequence of climate-related drought and temperature rise, including in vulnerable areas in the United States.
Photo: Courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher and the U.S. Air Force.