Could it be? Someone in government planning ahead?
SACRAMENTO (AP) - State firefighters would have to keep at least
two air tankers in Southern California year-round under a bill
approved Wednesday by the state Senate.
The bill was prompted by two large fires last year in San Diego
County during the period the state classifies as non-fire season.
Fire season begins in May and extends through December.
Local officials believe the fires would have caused less damage
if air tankers had been nearby to drop fire retardant on the
"There is no such thing as a non-fire season in Southern
California," said the bill's author, Sen. Bill Morrow,
But Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, said the Legislature
shouldn't try to dictate how the California Department of Forestry
and Fire Protection manages its firefighting resources.
"To say in law that CDF must station two tankers in Southern
California year-round, I don't think that's a level of detail even
I would want to engage in," she said.
The bill would require the department to keep the tankers in the
area covering Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San
Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
There's one catch. The state budget would have to include enough
money to cover any cost associated with keeping the planes in
A 25-4 vote sent the bill to the Assembly.
On the Net: Read the bill, SB1568, at www.senate.ca.gov
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
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Thread: Southern Cal Air Tankers
05-30-2002, 01:28 AM #1
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