North State air attack fire resources stretched thin

Aug 3, 2015 9:37 PM

The fires across Northern California are keeping the Chico and Redding air attack bases busy. Resources, like fuel, are being stretched thin as more aircraft are in the air.

"The aviation resources have been scarce, we are doing the best we can to prioritize the fires." says Fire Captain Matt Davis. "A big day for us is is 40,000 or 50,000 lbs of retardant pumped."

Davis says the 21 fires burning across California is especially stretching aviation resources.

The Chico Air Attack Base is right in the middle of all the fires, so it is an ideal location.

"They are bigger airplanes so they come here because there is less airplanes coming in." says Cal Fire Firefighter 1 Yang Xiong. "We are in the middle of all of the locations so they are coming here for that."

Aircraft are flying into Chico and Redding from all over to refuel and pick up fire retardant. Davis says the Redding air attack base ran out of fuel over the weekend due to the high demand, causing planes to go further for fuel.

"As they get timed out there is not enough product getting shipped. They are only aloud to drive an X amount of hours on the road a day, especially with the hazardous material such as jet a fuel for the aircraft." says Davis.

He says fuel companies are now seeking a way to get more fuel to these bases so bases don't run out.

"The vendors are doing the best they can to contact the governors office to see if there is some type of waiver they can get to increase our fuel supply during this state of emergency." Davis says.


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