North Carolina ANG Battling Western Blazes:

Fire-equipped C-130 Hercules from the North Carolina ANG’s 145th Airlift Wing have been reinforcing the US Forest Service this past week in Mesa, Ariz., battling two strong wildfires near Phoenix, the East Valley Tribune reports. Converting a Herc into a firefighting aircraft takes nearly an entire day, since “slurry tanks” (large containers of fire retardant) need to be fitted into the cargo bay and secured to two giant nozzles that disperse up to 3,000 pounds of foam retardant in a single shot over an area 60 feet wide and nearly a quarter mile long.