RAMONA (CBS 8/CNS) - Cal Fire has a new base to fight wildfires.
The Ramona Air Attack Base opened Monday in a strategic move to make San Diego County safer.
Cal Fire will staff two S-2T fixed wing air tankers and one OV-10A air tactical platform at Ramona, the oldest air attack base in Cal Fire's system of 13 strategically placed bases, according to Capt. Issac Sanchez.
"Both air tankers are capable of delivering 1,200 gallons of fire retardant per drop and have a maximum operating range of 500 miles when fully loaded," he said.
In addition to the aircraft positioned at Ramona, Cal Fire operates twenty-one S-2T air tankers, 14 OV-10A air tactical platforms and 12 UH-1H Super Huey helicopters. The statewide roster is the largest number of firefighting aircraft owned by any agency in the world, Sanchez said.
As we've seen in many of San Diego's big fires, flames can easily cross lines - from one city to the next and through unincorporated areas, which is why Cal Fire isn't the only agency gearing up right now.
San Diego Assistant Fire Chief Chris Webber said the city has a lot of new technology this year, including something called Zip It that sends important information faster to crews in the field so they can more effectively do their job.