The Cal Fire Columbia Air Attack base will be the recipient of a $25 million firefighting helicopter within the next three years as the state forestry and fire protection agency updates its Vietnam War-era helicopter fleet.
“There’s nothing routine about changing the aircraft we have now to this. It’s night and day. It’s state of the art. Not only for the pilots, for the crew members and the fire captains, it’s going to take a lot of training,” said Jeff Sanders, Division Chief for Cal Fire – Tuolumne Calaveras Unit who oversees Columbia Air Attack base and who is stationed at Baseline Conservation Camp in Jamestown.
Cal Fire plans to begin the incremental rollout of the $325 million helicopter project in October, though a specific date for its delivery to the Columbia Air Attack Base has not yet been determined, said Scott McLean, deputy chief of communications at Cal Fire.
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