Why isn't the Colorado supertanker helping fight the fires burning across the state?

State signed contract with Global SuperTanker
Posted at 10:20 PM, Jul 04, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS -- A lot of you may be asking why the big Colorado supertanker hasn't been called in to help with the several fires burning in the state.

Paperwork may be the issue, as Colorado Division of Fire Protection (CDFP) officials told Denver7 on Wednesday. The next step for the Global Supertanker is getting approvals to fly to affected areas.

The state had signed off on a call-when-needed contract to use the supertanker last week.

KKTV reported that Bob Soelberg, with Global SuperTanker, was frustrated the CDFP had not signed off sooner.

“It’s a lost ability to help our neighbors and we didn’t get into this business just to fly. We all have a motivation to help,” Soelberg said. 

Based in Colorado Springs, the supertanker can dump more than 20,000 gallons of retardant. It has contracts with El Paso and Douglas counties and is working on a contract with the U.S. Forest Service, too. In the past that has included getting the OK from the Federal Aviation Administration.