For the sixth year in a row, Cal Fire and DynCorp International were presented the Federal Aviation Administration’s Diamond Award of Excellence for Aviation Maintenance.
The award recognizes Cal Fire’s aviation maintenance technicians after passing a difficult aircraft safety training program. More than 75 technicians were recognized, and each were awarded with the William (Bill) O’Brian Award for Excellence.
“Cal Fire’s aerial firefighting fleet is an essential element in combating California’s devastating wildfires,” said Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire Director and Chief. “We are proud of the hard work and commitment that our aviation management staff and DynCorp International mechanics do every day in maintaining the largest wildland aerial firefighting fleet in the world with an award-winning safety and maintenance program.”
Cal Fire maintains 22 air tankers, 15 air tactical aircraft, 12 helicopters, and other aircrafts at its maintenance base at McClellan Air Park in Sacramento County.
With record breaking rainfall totals throughout California this year, the threat of wildfires during the warmer months will continue to increase as the abundant annual grass crop dries out. More rain has produced more grass and underbrush, increasing the fuel for wildfires to burn. Over the next couple of months, Cal Fire will finish the winter maintenance and safety inspections on the firefighting aircraft and staff them at the department’s airbases and helibases across the state to help assist with this year’s wildfires.