H-SANTA MARIA

Jul 30, 2013 8:12 PM by Katie Ferber, KSBY News

DC-10 firefighting aircraft stationed in Santa Maria

A massive fire-fighting aircraft is camped out at the Santa Maria Airport.

The DC-10 will be ready at a moments notice.

It is based out of Victorville in Southern California, but has been helping to fight a fire in Fresno since Sunday.

The pilot, Kevin Hopf, told KSBY News, "It's a great feeling knowing that we've been able to help save natural resources, homes, property. It's a pretty good way to make a living."

Hopf says it takes about 30 to 40 minutes to refuel on ground then they're off to fight fires.

The aircraft is fitted with three tanks that all together hold 50 tons of water or retardant.

The tanker can drop as much as 12,000 gallons of retardant in as little as eight seconds.

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