CAL FIRE’s world-renowned aviation program responds to thousands of wildlands fires throughout California each year. CAL FIRE’s current aviation fleet includes Grumman S-2T airtankerBell UH-1H Super Huey HelicoptersSikorsky S-70i Helicopters, and North American OV-10A (& 1 D Model) Bronco Air Tactical Aircraft. These aircraft, highly skilled pilots, and aviation support staff are strategically located throughout California at our 14 air tanker bases, 10 CAL FIRE helitack bases and one CAL FIRE/San Diego County Sheriff helitack base. Aircraft can reach the most remote State Responsibility Area (SRA) fires in approximately 20 minutes, with the goal of keeping 95% of fires at 10 acres or less. CAL FIRE’s fleet of more than 60 fixed and rotary wing aircraft make it the largest civil aerial firefighting fleet in the world.


We continue to look to the future in both technology and aerial firefighting capability. The recent addition of the 12 Sikorsky S-70i CAL FIRE HAWK helicopters and future addition of 7 Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules airtankers are an example of CAL FIRE’s commitment to remain the world's premier firefighting aviation program.

Modular Aerial Fire Fighting Systems

MAFFS began in 1971 as a joint effort between the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Defense to produce the equipment, training and operational procedures to integrate military air tankers into a national firefighting response. When requested, MAFFS-equipped C-130’s help boost state wildfire suppression efforts when contracted airtankers are fully committed or not readily available.