COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Wildland firefighters will be conducting aerial training over national forest land across the Pikes Peak region and the Front Range this week, the U.S. Forest Service said.
The training starts with a classroom portion on Monday. Flight operations will be conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with makeup/additional training on Saturday and Sunday if needed.
Residents may see low-flying C-130 aircraft and lead planes across the Arapaho and Roosevelt, Medicine Bow, and Pike and San Isabel national forests. The training drops will consist of water only.
The Forest Service said potential drop zones are:
- Green Mountain: about 14 miles southeast of Laramie, Wyoming.
- Sheep Mountain: in Larimer County about 7 miles east of Red Feather Lakes.
- South Bald Mountain: in Larimer County about 4.5 miles southwest of Red Feather.
- Rock Creek: in Boulder County about 1.4 miles south of Allenspark.
- Farnum Mountain: on the South Park Road of the Pike National Forest, approximately 5 miles southeast of Tarryall Reservoir in the Schoolmarm Mountain area of Park County, 20 miles north of Wilkerson Pass on Highway 24 and 40 miles west of Colorado Springs.
- Hackett Mountain: in the far northwestern corner of Teller County on the Pike National Forest, near the border of Park, Douglas and Jefferson counties, about 15 miles northeast of Lake George and 25 miles northwest of Colorado Springs.
- 39 Mile Mountain: on the Pike National Forest in Park County approximately 15 miles south of Eleven Mile Reservoir, 10 miles north of the town of Guffey, 8 miles east of Currant Creek Pass on Highway 9, and 40 miles west of Colorado Springs.
- South Hardscrabble Mountain: 15 miles south of Florence, on the San Carlos District of the San Isabel National Forest, on the northern slope of the Wet Mountains.
Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) aircraft will load water from the Jeffco Airtanker Base and will start and end their days at their home unit.
The USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region, the 302nd Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve) out of Peterson Air Force Base, the 153rd Airlift Wing (Air National Guard) out of Cheyenne, Wyo., and other fire partners will be participating in the training and certification.