Jumbo jet air tanker and hotshots arrive in Valley in anticipation of intense wildfire season

MESA, AZ - A jumbo jet air tanker arrived in the Valley on Tuesday, as firefighters prepare for another dangerous wildfire season.

The DC-10, which used to carry hundreds of passengers, has been hollowed out to hold up to 11,600 gallons of fire retardant, according to the crew, and can cover a mile drop.

This will be the third wildfire season that the jet is stationed at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway.

The DC-10 was instrumental in putting out the 2011 Wallow Fire.

"That was my first fire," said Jenna Lyons, a Snake River Hotshot from Idaho. "It was pretty overwhelming."

The Idaho hotshot crew will be in Arizona for the next two weeks in case a wildfire starts here.

"We are trained to be in more dangerous situations, more dangerous operations," said another hotshot, Arthur Cherry.

On Wednesday, the hotshots are expected to continue training in Payson, while the DC-10 could be called to assist crews fighting a wildfire in New Mexico.

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