California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that seven C-130 aircraft from the United States Department of Defense will be sent to California in 2023 to help in the fight against wildfires across the state.
Newsom made the announcement alongside U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla on July 16 via Twitter. Newsom, Padilla, and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss critical needs for fighting wildfires. The group also discussed utilizing satellite and drone technology for wildfire and brush fire response.
Next year, the state will receive seven aircraft to assist with wildfire suppression. The delivery is expected to be made by the end of summer 2023. Padilla explained that he hopes more will be made available for the state in the future.
The C-130 aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas, according to the U.S. Air Force. However, it can also be retrofitted to perform firefighting duties.
According to KTLA, Gov. Newsom has previously discussed the lack of firefighting aircraft available, and has prioritized expanding the state's aircraft options.