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State Loses Guarantee of DC 10 Availability

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 7, 2011

The big plane was a big cut from the state budget.  Cal Fire Spokesman Daniel Berlant with Cal Fire says they enjoyed the volume of service the tanker provided during the last four years.

BERLANT: "The DC 10 air tanker can hold about 12,000 gallons of fire retardant.  Our air tankers hold about 1200.  The federal air tankers hold about 3,000."

But, the $7 million per year price tag to have exclusive rights to the privately-owned plane was too much for Cal Fire's budget .   If the plane is not being used by another state, California can still rent it for around 50 thousand dollars a day.

Cal Fire is also shutting down the base (in Victorville) where the plane was kept.   That's a savings of an additional $1 million per year.  Defensible space and staffing budgets were also cut.

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