US congressional leaders have authorized the transfer of seven C-130s from the United States Coast Guard to CAL FIRE.

Governor Gavin Newsom, in partnership with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, spearheaded this initiative for California take on sole ownership of these aircraft, speed up the time to have them flying firefighting operations in California, and expand CAL FIRE’s firefighting capabilities. The C-130s will be strategically located throughout the state at CAL FIRE bases to mobilize when needed.

“These are aircraft that can mobilize quickly and attack wildfires to better protect our communities. This was a collaborative effort with our partners Sen. Padilla, the late Sen. Feinstein, and others to deliver for Californians.” Governor Gavin Newsom

Once President Biden signs the bill into law, these planes will be transferred to the state with the first of the seven planes expected to be ready in time for the 2024 fire season adding immediate value to California’s firefighting capabilities.

The final step in addition to pilot and crew training, which has already been underway, is the installation of Coulson RADS tanks for the aircraft.