Air support critical in fighting massive wildfires

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- At the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, a combination of firefighting planes are coming and going, helping crews on the ground try to get a handle on the ever-spreading High Park Fire.

"We have 16 aircraft flying in and out of here," said Rita Baysinger, with Rocky Mountain Fire Control. "Our planes are dropping thousands upon thousands of gallons of fire retardant...Sunday they used 116-thousand gallons...Monday by late afternoon, another 28 drops resulted in about 40-thousand gallons of the substance designed to give fire crews a buffer on the fire line that will allow them to get close to the burn area."

The planes and two Blackhawk helicopters, along with several other smaller choppers are all battling the blaze from above, while more than 400 smoke-chokers are on the ground.

Several of the air-rigs are from Canada as many of the U.S. crews are also battling fires in New Mexico and other western areas.

The winds today allowed pilots to make runs early into the evening. But as day-three of the fire winds up, it is expected more of the red retardant will be needed, they say new tanker trucks will be hauling in the material which allows crews to get closer to where flames are devouring forest area, along with homes and just about anything in the massive fire's path.

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