Firefighting airplanes at the ready at Santa Maria airport - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Firefighting airplanes at the ready at Santa Maria airport

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There are now two fire air tankers at the Santa Maria Airport. 

The C-130 typically stations out in Sacramento has been moved to Santa Maria after the base closed. The C-130 arrived Saturday and can hold 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant. 

Fire crews say they are ready for this fire season. 

"Last winter was such a wet winter that the fire season this year on the West Coast is expected to maybe start later and last longer," said Matt Ringlein, the C-130 Air Tanker captain. "Some of these early season fires were a good fill-in. One of the other reasons we are down in Santa Maria is because there is not a lot of civilian and, or other agency tankers that are on status. We are on status."

The other air tanker, a DC-10, has been assigned to the Santa Maria Air Tanker Base for the last two years. 

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