Analysis suggests keeping Medford Air Tanker Base operating

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Analysts say the U.S. Forest Service should keep the Medford Air Tanker Base open if other agencies help pay the $245,000 annual cost.

The Mail Tribune reports in a story on Friday that the Forest Service commissioned the independent analysis earlier this year and recently made the results public.

The air tanker base is about 55 miles (90 kilometers) from another air tanker base in Klamath Falls, and the Forest Service is considering closing one of them to save money.

About 60 percent of the retardant delivered from the Medford base is by agencies other than the Forest Service, but those agencies aren’t helping to pay for maintenance of the air base.

Forest Service officials say that’s a business model that’s not working for the agency.