By Marco Hernandez , Simon Scarr and Manas Sharma
PUBLISHED SEPT. 9, 2020
Firefighters have been battling some of the largest fires in California’s history in recent weeks. In total, about 2.2 million acres have been blackened, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
A fleet of specially equipped firefighting aircraft that can steer or contain a fire’s perimeter help fire crews on the ground. We show here the types of aircraft, from specially converted passenger jets to aircraft that can scoop water from a lake, in action and their specific roles.
Cal Fire has its own fleet of aircraft operating from 12 airfields and 10 helicopter bases across the state that can reach most fires within about 20 minutes. The three main components of the fleet are…