The two aircraft were a Helitanker 1CH, from Columbia Helicopters, and a Helitanker 37S, from Siller Brothers. The former will be based at Napa County Airport, while the latter will be stationed at Sonoma County Airport.
The two helicopters join another Sikorsky S70i Fire Hawk fully owned by Cal Fire, known as Copter 104, which was acquired in June 2021 and is based at the Boggs Mountain base in Lake County.
The aircraft have been dispersed across the region to enable rapid dispatching and the potential to provide coverage for multiple fires occurring at the same time. The aircraft will also be available for assignments in the wider Bay Area, as well as the rest of California.
The helitankers are positioned to not only arrive more quickly at any new fire within the unit, but can also be dispatched to multiple fires occurring at the same time. They are also available for fire assignments in the greater Bay Area and the rest of California, according to the release.
Cal Fire San Diego also announced that it had leased a Sikorsky CH-54A Type 1 ‘Sky Crane’ to support its firefighting mission earlier this month.