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"Retired" Montana firefighting planes pressed back into service - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

"Retired" Montana firefighting planes pressed back into service

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MISSOULA - Neptune Aviation's legendary P-2-V tankers have responded to a deadly firestorm engulfing Northern California just a week out of retirement.

Missoula-based Neptune Aviation stated on their Facebook page Monday evening that  their Tanker 7 and Tanker 14 aircraft  have been reactivated and Tankers 2 and 3 are being dispatched to what they described as "horrific blazes."

It's already been an incredibly busy fire season for Neptune's "next gen" jet tankers. And it was just a week ago the company held a retirement celebration for the venerable prop-driven P-2 tankers, which had been the workhorses of the company's fleet for the past 25 years. 

It was called a "bittersweet moment."

But now, with thousands of acres burning in what some are calling one of the worst firestorms in recent California history, the P-2-Vs are joining Neptune's jets, which are already flying missions over the inferno in the California wine country. 

RELATED: At least 11 dead as fires rage in Northern California

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