For the first time, the California Department of Forestry will station firefighting airplanes in Southern California for the winter months.
The air tankers are normally stationed in Sacramento during the winter. However, concerns about drought conditions, tens of thousands of dead trees, and the memory of several winter fires in recent years prompted the move.
CDF spokesman Louis Blumberg said the planes would be stationed in Riverside and San Diego counties. They will be flown by contract pilots who live in the area and can be summoned on short notice.