County News Service
Update July 21: Supervisors voted unanimously to ask the Obama administration to take action and allow USFS air tankers to land in Ramona.
July 20, 2015 (Ramona)—The U.S. Forest Service is refusing to fly its newest air tankers in and out of Ramona Air Attack Base – and the Board of Supervisors may turn to the White House for help.
On Tuesday, July 21 at 9 a.m. Supervisors will consider a proposal from Chairman Bill Horn and Supervisor Dianne Jacob to appeal the decision to the Obama Administration. With the high-risk fall fire season approaching, they say flying the next-gen tankers in and out of Ramona could help save lives and protect property.
The Forest Service claims the rural base – the region’s aerial firefighting hub -- can’t handle the tankers. County and state fire officials disagree. Cal Fire last week tested the same type of tanker in Ramona and reported no problems. (Photo, top of story)
Air support from tankers is crucial to stop wind-fueled, fast-moving fires from spreading out of control, as the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 firestorms did that ravaged our region.
Supervisors meet Tuesday at the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway in San Diego, Room 310.