Jefferson County Airtanker Base
USDA Forest Service's Jefferson County Airtanker Base ( Jeffco) is located in Broomfield, Colo., at Rocky Mountain Airport and is managed by the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland (ARP).The Jeffco air-tanker base mission is to provide the very best aerial fire-fighting support for ground personnel. The air-tanker base includes retardant storage tanks, filling facilities, pilots quarters and offices.The sight has the capacity to mix 190,000 gallons of slurry at a time, which is enough for seventy-four and a half 2,555 gallon drops. Jeffco supports a variety of aircraft types, including single engine airtankers, heavy airtankers, lead planes and helicopters. Jeffco air-tanker base employees focus their time and attention on accomplishing fire missions safely and lending their full support to fire fighters on the scene of an incident. The tanker base is located at 10900 West 120th Ave., Broomfield, CO 80021.
The Jeffco Airtanker Base was established in September 1983 in Broomfield. The base was named for the Jefferson County General Aviation facility that was its home. In 2006 the airport was renamed the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport however the Airtanker Base name remained Jeffco. Initially the base was co-located with a 700 person fire cache and regional interagency dispatch center. The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center (RMACC) moved to the BLM Office in Lakewood in 1998 and the cache was moved to the Denver Federal Center in 1999. In 2003 the Jeffco Airtanker Base was upgraded with new facilities. Jeffco is one of four permanent and two reload bases in Region 2. Permanent bases are Jeffco, Grand Junction, Rapid City and Durango. Call when needed (CWN) Reload Bases are located in Pueblo and Casper.
Temporary Base At Fort Collins-Loveland
While the Rocky Mountain Metro Airport in Broomfield has construction work done this year, the U.S. Forest Service airtanker base located has temporarily relocated to the Fort Collins-Loveland Airport.
The ARP will use a U.S. Forest Service portable retardant system from the southeastern United States at the Fort Collins-Loveland Airport from April 15 through July 1, 2014. This temporary location will be able to maintain the same general service, supporting single engine airtankers (SEATS), heavy airtankers, lead planes and helicopters.
The Jefferson County Tanker Base is an important part of fire suppression resources along the Colorado Front Range, but not the only resource. There are fully-staffed airtanker bases in Grand Junction, Colo., and Rapid City, S.D. There is also a base located in Pueblo that can serve as an interim site for airtankers if needed before the temporary Loveland-Fort Collins location is available.
During construction activities SEATS and helicopters will still be supported at the Rocky Mountain Metro Airport.