LOS ANGELES (CBS) — California is about to lose one of its most effective firefighting weapons to state budget cuts.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is canceling a $21 million, three-year contract for a DC-10 supertanker.
The converted airliner carries nearly 12,000 gallons of fire retardant and is often used as the spearhead in the department’s attack on wildfires.
KNX 1070′s Mike Landa reports it’s a move that almost nobody wants to make.
“Fortunately, it does leave the integrity of our initial attack capability intact, but it does mean the reduction of the DC-10 that we have contracted with for the last couple of years,” said CAL FIRE spokesman Daniel Berlant.
Despite the cuts, however, Berlant insists California still has access to state-of-the-art air resources.
“We have the largest state-owned wild land firefighting aircraft in the world,” he said.