This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The deadly wildfires raging in California are still blazing, with more than 20,000 people evacuated, at least 1,500 structures destroyed and 100 people in the hospital with fire-related injuries — and 10 dead.

There’s a long way to go to put out the fires, but now the firefighters have serious air support. The biggest you can get, in fact.

Capable of dumping 19,600 gallons — nearly double its closest aerial firefighting colleague — of water or fire retardant, the world’s only Boeing 747 SuperTanker is in Sacramento and is running missions over the California fires.

On Monday alone, the one-of-its-kind aircraft performed six missions to dump fire retardant over threatened areas. One of these was recorded by the local ABC station:

Originally built as a passenger jet for Japan Airlines (registration JA8086), the 26-year old 747-400 was converted into a supertanker and re-registered as N492EV in 2012. In January 2016, the aircraft was re-registered yet again with the tail number it bears today, N744ST — a fitting registration for the 747-400 (744) SuperTanker (ST).

Not only does the supertanker have incredibly large tanks — 4 to 6 times larger than the other aircraft contracted by California to fight these fires — it also is able to refill and take off for its next mission in a hurry. It’s reportedly able to refill in just 30 minutes, and we can see on FlightRadar24 that the aircraft was on the ground an average of just 60 minutes between its six flights:

N744ST FlightRadar24 misionsNicknamed The Spirit of John Muir, after the great naturalist, the SuperTanker is now deployed to fight fires affecting Muir’s beloved redwoods, right around the corner from Muir Woods National Monument.

Here’s a video of a test run by the incredible aircraft:

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.