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Central Coast air attack bases assisting in Southern California - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Central Coast air attack bases assisting in Southern California wildfires

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Aircraft are being sent from the Paso Robles Air Attack Base and the Santa Maria Air Attack Base to assist in the fight against multiple fires in Southern California.

However, with strong wind gusts, the turbulent conditions have made it difficult for crews to take aggressive action from the air.

"A couple of the aircraft out of here were put on a brief hold until the conditions were better for flying," said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Tom Swanson.

He says the high winds make for a difficult drop of retardant when trying to draw a line around the fires.

At the Santa Maria Air Attack Base, the scene was mostly quiet Tuesday afternoon. Officials there say an air attack plane was sent to the Thomas Fire; however, due to strong winds, the air tanker at the base was sent to the Creek Fire. 

In Paso, Swanson says the base has five planes, two of which were flown in from Northern California. The air tankers in that fleet are on standby for the Thomas Fire. However, Tuesday afternoon they were sent to a 10-acre brush fire in Santa Barbara County near Twitchell Road.

"They've been working a couple fires through the south and as they prioritize the different fires, they're utilizing the air resources where they can," Swanson said.

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