Airwaves Used by Firefighting Aircraft Clogged

By: AP
By: AP

PHOENIX (AP) - A busy fire season means the airwaves used by
pilots to talk to crews on the ground are getting clogged.
Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise,
Idaho, say they ran out of frequencies to assign to aircraft at one
point on Wednesday. Spokesman Randy Eardley says it didn't affect
firefighting but is the first time it's happened since the 2000
fire season.
In Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas alone 54 helicopters and
24 aircraft are working various fires.
Mary Zabinski of the Southwest Coordination Center in
Albuquerque says four military tankers are flying out of New
Mexico's Kirtland Air Force Base helping 13 other tankers.
Thirty-seven lighter planes and two for smoke jumpers round out the
Many more are flying in east Texas and Florida.

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