News Release: Colorado State Fire Agency Activates Airstrike’s P-3 Large Airtanker to Combat Summer Wildfires


Colorado State Fire Agency Activates Airstrike’s P-3 Large Airtanker to Combat Summer Wildfires



DFPC Contact:

Caley Fisher



Airstrike Firefighters, LLC

Media Contact:

Scott A. Schorzman, VP




Loveland, CO- The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) has activated an agreement with Airstrike Firefighters to provide large airtanker services for wildland fire suppression.  The agreement will allow the State of Colorado to have exclusive use of an Airstrike P-3 firefighting airtanker to help combat summer wildfire in the State.  By activating this airtanker, the State of Colorado has ensured that dedicated suppression resources are immediately available during times of high fire danger.

“We have activated the P-3 airtanker for 75 days of dedicated availability.  This will provide another highly capable initial attack resource to be utilized in the State and the region,” said Vince Welbaum, Aviation Unit Chief for the State of Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. “The P-3 is a proven aerial asset that can operate efficiently in our high-altitude and high-temperature conditions, and is also an excellent value for the Colorado taxpayer.”

DFPC considers the P-3 the closest thing to a purpose-built airtanker for aerial firefighting available in the industry today.  

“The design of the aircraft including four engine turbo-prop, ability to safely fly low and slow, carry full loads of retardant and ample fuel are distinct features that the State of Colorado requires to be effective for wildland firefighting,” said Welbaum. “We are excited to include the Airstrike P-3 in our arsenal of resources when large dangerous wildfires threaten life and property in the State.”  One additional airtanker is also being made available to the State on a call-when-needed (CWN) basis to ensure the State has adequate access to emergency resources when they are needed most.

Scott Schorzman, Vice President of Airstrike Firefighters is quoted as saying “We are excited to bring the P-3 airtanker to the State of Colorado and do what we do best, fight fire from the air.  The P-3 is the perfect aerial firefighting platform for the State of Colorado, and we intend to demonstrate its efficiency and cost effectiveness.  This is another step forward in strengthening our long-term partnership with the State and to participate in its growing fleet of aerial wildfire assets.”

Airstrike is an Anchorage, AK-headquartered company with operations in Sacramento, CA.  Airstrike has 30 employees that are refurbishing a fleet of seven P-3 firefighting airtankers for use on State and Federal contracts. 


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Colorado Contacts: