What it's like to fly planes into the Thomas Fire


At the Air Tanker Base in Santa Maria, air crews fighting the Thomas Fire reload their planes with fire retardant before heading back to the blaze. In addition to 3 million gallons of water, nearly 3 million gallons of retardant has been dropped on the flames so far. We meet the people in charge of refueling and flying those planes.

Pilot Delbert Hunt shows us his MD-87 jet, which he flies above the Thomas Fire to drop retardant on the flames. (Larry Perel)



Kathryn Barnes


Larry Perel