SACRAMENTO – An effort led by the Newsom Administration and congressional leaders resulted in Congress authorizing and accelerating the transfer of seven C-130 aircraft from the United States Coast Guard to Cal Fire, expanding California's world-leading firefighting fleet to protect Californians.
Governor Gavin Newsom – in partnership with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein – spearheaded this initiative for California to take on sole ownership of these aircraft, speed up the time to have them flying firefighting operations in California, and expand Cal Fire's firefighting capabilities.
Even before this, California had built up the largest firefighting fleet in the world. These new C-130s will be strategically located throughout the state at Cal Fire bases to mobilize when needed, adding to the helicopters, other aircraft, and firefighters ready to protect Californians.
This follows California's leadership in utilizing innovation and technology to fight fires smarter, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), satellites, and more.
"These are aircraft that can mobilize quickly and attack wildfires to better protect our communities. This was a collaborative effort with our partners Sen. Padilla, the late Sen. Feinstein, and others to deliver for Californians," Newsom said.
When President Biden signs the bill into law, these planes will be transferred to the state. The first of the seven planes will likely be ready in time for height of the 2024 fire year, adding immediate value to California's firefighting capabilities.
Submitted by the Office of the Governor.