SACRAMENTO COUNTY (KRON) — CAL FIRE showed off its incoming fleet of airborne firefighting equipment Thursday.
“Cal Fire flies more planes, this type than any other firefighting force in the world, we are only adding to that,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger toured alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The two strolled through the state’s new C-130 air tanker plane.
The state is also set to replace its 13 smaller planes with black hawk helicopters equipped with nighttime fire-fighting capabilities.
“The greatest firefighters are now getting the equipment they deserve,” Schwarzenegger said.
California is getting seven C-130 Air Tankers, the first set coming in by 2021 and the entire fleet ready to go by 2023. The first Black Helicopter comes in October with the rest phasing in throughout the next few years.
The $127.2 million investment also includes money for more crews and pilots, which state leaders say is a whole other challenge
“There’s a nationwide shortage, a worldwide shortage of pilots and so the niche we’re after, you don’t go after and find just airtanker pilots anywhere.”
While celebrating the bipartisan effort on the upgrades, Schwarzenegger was asked about Gov. Newsom’s moratorium on the death penalty.
The Republican was the last state leader to sign off on executions.
“I would like the headline tomorrow to be, Governor Newsom has spent more money firefighting than any other Governor in this state, rather than what Schwarzenegger said about executions.”