Boeing 747 SuperTanker fights California fire for 1st time

Jon Howard
September 5, 2017

Oroville resident John Ballenger will appear in court on Friday. "CAL FIRE has long believed in and supported the SuperTanker; we will work tirelessly with them to get the job done in Ponderosa or wherever fire threatens our fellow citizens".

He appeared in court Friday but did not enter a plea.

Thousands of people have been driven from their homes in OR and hundreds in California, where a blaze burned 10 homes and threatened 500 more near a hard-hit community and another kept a popular road to Yosemite National Park closed. The fire is projected to have full containment September 6.

Merrifield also granted a request by prosecutors to set Ballenger's bail at $1 million.

The converted Boeing 747-400, which is based in Colorado Springs, is dropping retardant on the Ponderosa fire that's burning 10 miles east of Lake Oroville.

Ramsey said the charges now filed against Ballenger carry a maximum penalty of 7 years, 8 months in prison.

"He had a campfire burning 24-7", the district attorney said. The public defender's office could not be reached for comment.

The Marlborough fire races up a hill from where it started on Thursday Aug. 31 2017 in Riverside
The Marlborough fire races up a hill from where it started on Thursday Aug. 31 2017 in Riverside

A 747 SuperTanker drops retardant while battling the Ponderosa Fire east of Oroville, Calif., on August 30, 2017.

One man has been arrested on suspicion of causing the blaze by starting a campfire outside a designated area and allowing it to spread out of control.

The charges he will face remained unclear as prosecutors still needed to review reports of any possible fire-related injuries and homes burned in the blaze, Ramsey said.

Officials also ordered the evacuation of Sugar Pine, a small community of homes and vacation rentals threatened by the nearby flames.

A tanker drops retardant while battling the Ponderosa Fire east of Oroville, Calif., Aug. 30, 2017.

In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock on Friday declared a state of disaster due to wildfires as dozens raged across tens of thousands of acres during one of the worst fire seasons in state history.

"This fire, which broke out yesterday, we can now say is the largest fire in the history of L.A. city, in terms of its acreage", Garcetti told reporters.

Officers handcuffs nurse for refusing blood test on patient
Salt Lake City Nurse Alex Wubbels was forcibly arrested by officers after refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient. Salt Lake City police told the Tribune they were investigating the incident, but that Detective Payne remained on duty.

Other reports by PlayStation Move reviews

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER