Cal Fire using new technology, better aircrafts to battle wildfires

Posted at 6:48 AM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 09:48:26-04

(KERO) — To fight the growing threat of wildfires in California, Cal Fire is stepping up efforts to contain those fires as quickly as possible.

They're doing that with new technology and better aircrafts.

This year, Cal Fire is ramping up firefighting efforts with new aviation assets like a Cal Fire Hawk at Boggs Mountain Helitack Base.

It flies faster and drops more water allowing ground crews to get better access and make more progress on a fire.

By next year, all 10 bases in California will have a fire hawk.

Air bases are strategically placed to get an aircraft on the scene of a fire in less than 20 minutes.

The helicopter already hit two major milestones while working the Electra Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties in July.

But there’s a lot that we don’t see when it comes to newer technology: tech that tells these planes where to go giving them tactical information.

The program called tactical analyst gives personnel a real time snapshot of the Cal Fire resources available and fire activity like forward progress.

It can be used to coordinate resources on the most critical parts of the fire.

The program also allows users to upload photos giving more visuals of the fire.

It’s all part of Cal Fire’s goal, to contain fires at 10 acres or less.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.