COLORADO SPRINGS — FOX21 got an inside look at the new airtanker base at the Colorado Springs airport ahead of a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday.

The base is the fifth and largest firefighting airtanker base in the Rocky Mountain Region. It houses six reload pits for any type of contracted airtanker and allows multiple airtankers to reload at once. The Colorado Springs Base will service a 600-mile radius, including Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.

“Locally, Colorado Springs will benefit from this. We’re talking the airplanes fly, they take off, they drop, they circle, come back. We’re talking 10 minute turns. Where, in the past, it could be twenty to thirty minute turns,” said Airtanker Specialist Robby Kline.

The airtanker base has already been in operation this month, dropping 50,000 gallons of water on fires in the region.