Paso Robles Cal Fire air base now open
Air base 20 minute response time to fires within the area
–This week, the Cal Fire Paso Robles Air Base officially opened for the 2016 fire season. The air base emergency response air program includes two Grumman S-2T 1,200 gallon air tankers, and two OV-10A air tactical aircraft, the aircraft can reach most fires within 20 minutes.
The air tactical planes fly overhead directing the air tankers and helicopters to critical areas of the fire for retardant and water drops. The retardant used to slow or retard the spread of a fire is a slurry mix consisting of a chemical salt compound, water, clay or a gum-thickening agent, and a coloring agent.
Cal Fire air tankers and helicopters also transport firefighters, equipment and injured personnel. The aircraft are strategically located around the state at air bases and helicopter bases, like the Paso Robles air base. During high fire activity aircraft can be relocated statewide to provide air support.