DENVER, Colo. -

As a result of increasing fire danger, the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center has propositioned a large air tanker to better respond to the increasing fire danger in eastern Colorado and the Front Range.

The aircraft will be staged at the Rocky Mountain Airport (JeffCo) tanker base and can assist fire crews as needed anywhere in the Rocky Mountain Area. The twin-engine P2V Neptune can carry up to 2,000 gallons of fire retardant.

A smaller single-engine tanker capable of carrying 800 gallons has also been activated and is at the same base. That plane is under contract with the State Forest Service.

Jim Fletcher of the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center says it's unusual to have aircraft deployed this early in the season but says fire danger is high in eastern Colorado and along the Front Range and could reach extreme in southeast Colorado next weekend.

Extreme care should be taken by the public when engaging in activities that could start a wildfire.