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Cal Fire to Open Ramona Air Attack Base Heading Into Summer

Cal Fire crews are keeping an eye out for fires as temperatures rise.

As San Diego once again heads into its summer season, firefighters across the county are preparing for another potentially destructive wildfire season. 

Despite the heavy rains San Diego County received this past winter, there are still chances for strong wildfires, Cal Fire officials said. 

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Dead fuel is not affected by water, so even with lingering moisture, it is still important to cut down dead weeds on your property, firefighters said. 

The new patches of green mark a new concern: what firefighters call "light flashy fuel."

Cal Fire officials say San Diego will see wildfires, as always, but it's not possible to determine how intense or large the fires will be. 

The agency is preparing for the upcoming wildfire season by re-opening their Ramona Air Attack Base (RAAB), the oldest of the department's strategically placed 13 bases across the state.

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Starting Monday, the base will be staffed with two S-2T fixed wing airtankers and one OV-10A air tactical platform. Both airtankers can deliver 1,200 gallons of fire retardant per drop, and have a maximum operating range of 500 miles when fully loaded. 

Capt. Issac Sanchez said crews will go on proficiency flights and other training to prepare on how best to support crews fighting the fire on the ground.

“The helicopters and the air tankers, their big goal is to slow the fire down for the ground resources to catch up to it,” Sanchez said.

Across the state, Cal Fire operates 21 S-2T fixed wing airtankers, 14 OV-10A air tactical platforms and 12 UH-1H Super Huey helicopters. 

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