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Columbia Tanker Base Spared From Cuts

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Budget cuts proposed by Governor Davis could mean closing down two firefighting air tanker bases.

The air attack bases at Ukiah and Porterville are facing the ax as the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tries to trim almost $2 million off its budget.

CDF officials say consolidating their air tanker program will save some $800,000.

CDF spokesman Lewis Blumburg has good news for the Mother Lode: The Columbia Air Attack base will not be affected by the cuts.

The airtanker based at Porterville will be stationed in Fresno beginning this fire season. Blumberg says the current fleet of CDF S2-T aircraft are faster, carry larger payloads and will provide adequate protection.