POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials are expanding a firefighting air base in eastern Idaho.

Officials say the air base at the Pocatello Regional Airport has become busier than ever, as its traditional service area has spread further into surrounding states such as Wyoming, Oregon and Nevada.

Aviation Officer Robert Barnes says just this Monday, a pair of DC-10 air tankers launched from the air base to help contain a fire in Elko, Nevada.

The Idaho State Journal reports the air base’s increasing importance is prompting the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to build a third “pit” at the Pocatello air base, where aircraft will refuel and reload flame retardant, within the next couple of years.

Barnes says the third pit will make the base more efficient in the long run.

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