Osprey now being used to battle brush fires - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Osprey now being used to battle brush fires

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Firefighters received a new weapons to battle major wildfires across the state on Wednesday. 

Cal Fire has many firefighting tools to attack wildfires, but the new weapon from military is meant to keep firefighters on the ground and homes safe. 

For the first time, Marine Corp Osprey aircraft will be called in to help with aerial attacks. 

"When our firefighting aircraft are taxed and we have no other means to use them, we will call in for reinforcements," said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Burke Kremensky. 

Cal Fire entered into an emergency agreement with the U.S. Marines and Navy to deploy the MV22 Osprey during wildfire season. 

The MV22 Osprey is a hybrid between a helicopter and a turbo plane. The tiltroter can move twice as fast and carry twice as much water as its next competitor. 

Also on standby is Japan's former Boeing 747 that can carry up to 20,000 gallons of retardant. 

"When you send out this aircraft out on a fire, it's like sending five or six other airplanes," said Chief Kremensky. 

The new aircrafts are expected to be crucial as Cal Fire expects all the grass grown from the heavy rainfall to turn to fuel for a dangerous season. 

Starting April 4th, the S2T's and an aerial observer plane will be active for the wildfire season. 

San Diego residents can visit the Cal Fire website to prepare for wildfire season. 

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