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US Senators want review of air tanker strategy
Western senators want review of Forest Service strategy for replacing aging air tanker fleet
By The Associated Press

A group of Western senators says the U.S. Forest Service may not be moving quickly enough to build up and replace the fleet of aging planes that drop fire retardant on wildfires.

The senators asked the Government Accountability Office on Tuesday to evaluate whether the Forest Service has done a good job of analyzing the types and numbers of aircraft needed, the cheapest way to get them, new technologies, and where the planes will be based.

Last month, the Forest Service adopted a new strategy for replacing the fleet of 11 heavy air tankers with newer, faster and more cost-effective planes.

But it remains unclear how quickly new planes will come on line.

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