By Ron Sering
Prior to the end of World War II, planes were deployed to wildfires as spotters. At the end of the war, with a good supply of surplus bombers, many were quickly deployed as air tankers, dropping water and chemical retardant to support the ground crews.
Helicopters are used as well, to make more precise drops on fire location. The Salida airport is a service stop for the several helicopters supporting ground efforts with the Hayden Pass Fire.