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California planes cleared to resume battling Colorado wildfires

July 3, 2012 |  9:50 am

Two firefighting aircraft sent to Colorado from the California Air National Guard, grounded Monday after a crash by a similar plane from North Carolina, have been cleared to resume operations, officials said Tuesday.

The two C-130J planes from the California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing, from the Channel Islands station, were grounded along with five other C-130s from guard units from North Carolina, Wyoming and Colorado, as a precaution.

A C-130 from the North Carolina Air National Guard crashed early Sunday night in South Dakota, killing four and critically injuring two crew members.

PHOTOS: U.S. wildfires 2012

The remaining North Carolina aircraft and crew have been cleared to return to their home base, officials said. Other aircraft are cleared to resume firefighting operations, officials said.

A C-130 is equipped to drop 3,000 gallons of water or retardant.


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