Cal fire air attack returns to base from ranch fire. As Mendocino County prepares for wildfire season, Cal Fire is also getting ready by opening up its air attack base at the Ukiah Airport this weekend in preparation. The opening of the air base means that they will have two S-2T 1,200-gallon air tankers brought in by Cal Fire this weekend in case of fire emergencies, and more crews will be in the area working rotations during fire season. There will also be a helicopter from Willits that is part of the team and will be helping during fire season.
The new Cal Fire rotation officially started on June 1, and the end of the rotation is dependent on when the rainy season begins in the fall. Should a wildfire break out, a spotter plane will be in the air telling the planes and helicopters where to drop water and retardant to slow down the fire.
Wildfires have always been a part of California, but in recent years large-scale fires have become more common. Climate change is expected to make California hotter and drier than it has been. The hottest and driest summers in California have all happened in the last 20 years. Last year, the Mendocino Complex Fire burned over 450,000 acres, the largest in California history, and destroyed hundreds of structures in Mendocino and Lake County. The year before, the Redwood Complex Fire in October also caused massive damage in Redwood and Potter Valley.