Firefighting DC-10 Makes a Temporary Home in Casper [PHOTOS]
An uncommon visitor continued its stay at Casper-Natrona County International Airport on Tuesday.
One of only two aircraft of its type in the world, a DC-10 outfitted for firefighting is one part of the multi-aircraft fleet that’s aiding in the firefighting effort at the Sheepherder Hill fire complex.
Normally, the airport sees only commuter-sized turboprops and jets, along with personal and military aircraft.
Kevin Hopf is the captain of the three-person crew manning the DC-10. He says, in the past, his aircraft has been an exceptional firefighting tool.
“It’s been a great platform for what we’ve been doing with it,” Hopf said.
Hopf says certain attributes of Casper Mountain make fighting fires in the Sheepherder Hill complex challenging.
“We’ve seen a lot of homes intermixed with fuels,” Hopf said. “The fuels are packed tight, the trees are close together, and there’s just a lot of homes in that area.”
Hopf says he’s made over 500 runs in the aircraft, fighting wildfires throughout the west and the western plains.