SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Local, state, and federal agencies are prepping to combat a wildfire season that’s already off to an aggressive start.
Helicopters, jets, C1-30’s, and the Global Supertanker, the biggest firefighting aircraft in the world, are running through simulations out of McClellan Air Field in Sacramento
“We’re simulating as if we are supporting the firefighters on the ground. The reason we need that altitude is that any higher than that it will dissipate too much,” LCol. Todd Morgan with the California Air National Guard said.
It’s annual training for aircrews from all across California who are certified by the US Forest Service in preparation for wildfire season.
The U.S. Forest Service says they’re expecting a busy fire season.
“We are starting to already have some fires here in California. We are anticipating average, to above average, significant fire potential,” Deputy Assistant Director Kim Christensen with the USDA Forest Service said.
According to Cal Fire, from Jan. 1 to June 14 this year, there’s already been 2,405 fires and 13,617 acres burned. During the same time last year, 10,552 acres burned and 1,386 fires. That’s already 1,019 more fires this year than last.
But teams in California say they’ve got an advantage that wildfires don’t.
“Fire knows no boundaries. We work together, we train together, we literally fight fire as one,” Christensen said.