Crews headed to Australia to help fight wildfires

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – A crew from Albuquerque is heading to Australia on Wednesday night to fight the wildfires. 

Eric Svanberg with “10 Tanker Air Carrier” said a crew of 12 people are hopping on a nearly 250-foot long plane, headed straight to the Sydney, Australia area to help with the fires. 

“Our tanker actually holds 9,400 gallons of retardant. Which we can fly as low as 200 feet and drop on any fire, put a line over a mile long,” said Svanberg.  

He said his Sunport-based company has been helping crews fight fires around the world for more than a decade. They’ve gone on missions as far north as Canada and as far south as Australia. So, this isn’t the first time they’ve flown down under. Svanberg said this could also be their most important mission there.

“There’s been over 200 or 300 homes and lives lost due to the fires,” said Svanberg. 

He said the fires in Australia cover an area the size of Ireland. He hopes his crew will make a difference in their efforts and is honored to provide a helping hand. 

“It feels really good when you help with a mission,” said Svanberg. “You can’t put words on it. Peoples homes, people’s lives they’re all in jeopardy and they see us. We’re glad to help.”

The crew expects to arrive in the Sydney area on Friday and plan to be there for about three months.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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