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Company's closure halts parts manufacturing, outside support for critical wildfire system
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) The closure of a California company has cast doubt on a system that sprays fire retardant from the back of C-130 military transport planes.
The bus-sized device is called MAFFS short for Modular Airborne Firefighting System and it's a joint program of the military and U.S. Forest Service.
Lone MAFFS manufacturer Aero Union, based in Sacramento, Calif., has been out of business since last summer. That means the Forest Service isn't getting new parts or outside technical support for MAFFS.
Scott Fisher, MAFFS coordinator for the Forest Service, says the agency has enough spare parts to keep the MAFFS going.
A MAFFS-equipped C130 crashed in the Black Hills on July 1, leaving seven of the planes available to fight wildfires raging in the West this summer.