CAL FIRE’s aviation fleet

CAL FIRE air tankers and lead planes
CAL FIRE air tankers and lead planes
Some of CAL FIRE's air tankers and air tactical aircraft at McClellan Airfield. Click to enlarge.

While looking up information about the Aerial Firefighting International Show and Conference that will be held at McClellan Airfield at Sacramento in January, I ran across this Google Maps photo of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection aviation maintenance facility at McClellan. It must have been taken during a shoulder season and shows approximately two-thirds of the air tankers and air tactical aircraft that Cal Fire operates. The agency has a total of 23 S-2T 1,200-gallon air tankers, 14 OV-10A air tactical twin-engine fixed wing aircraft, and 11 UH-1H Super Huey helicopters.

Here is more information about their aviation program from CAL FIRE’s web site:

The average annual budget of the CAL FIRE Aviation Management Program is nearly $20 million. A total of 18 CAL FIRE personnel oversee the program with an additional 130 contract employees providing mechanical, pilot and management services to the program.

CAL FIRE’s current support contractors are DynCorp and Logistics Specialties Incorporated (LSI). DynCorp provides airtanker and airtactical plane pilot services, and all aircraft maintenance services. (All CAL FIRE helicopters are flown by CAL FIRE pilots.) LSI provides procurement and parts management services.

This video produced by CAL FIRE details the off-season maintenance of their air tankers.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “CAL FIRE’s aviation fleet”

  1. Good lil blurb from CalFire
    Just remember the other operators that have have the contract business (H&P and AUC) had just as good a program as these folks at a $20 million dollar+ program.

    Folks thinkin that aircraft are NOT maintained in ANYONES book have got another thing coming. What would those folks (uninitiated in the land management agencies) think those aircraft were just serviced by your local Chevy or Ford dealer? Think again

    KUDOs and Bravo Zulu to Cal Fire…..anyone at USFS care to step up to the plate and explain 2011 to us?


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