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‘Scary’: Fuel Shortage Could Ground Firefighting Aircraft

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FILE - In this July 2, 2021, file photo a DC-10 air tanker drops retardant while battling the Salt Fire near the Lakehead community of Unincorporated Shasta County, Calif. Airport officials facing jet fuel shortages are concerned they'll have to wave off fire retardant bombers and helicopters when wildfire season heats up, potentially endangering surrounding communities. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

(AP) — Airport officials facing jet fuel shortages are concerned they’ll have to wave off planes and helicopters that drop fire retardants during what could be a ferocious wildfire season, potentially endangering surrounding communities.

U.S. officials say they’ve already had sporadic shortages at some tanker bases and fear multiple bases running out simultaneously during what is shaping up to be a ferocious wildfire season in the U.S. West.

Airport officials, aviation companies and jet fuel transport companies say jet fuel supply chains that atrophied during the coronavirus pandemic haven’t been able to rebuild fast enough to keep pace with the reopening of the U.S. economy.

 

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