Does Cal Fire Have a Shortage of Pilots?

posted by Sara Bartlett - 

We know that fire season is all year round in California, and that may be showing in the number of firefighter pilots we have. Cal Fire says it's dealing with a pilot shortage. Recently, four of the more than 20 S-2 planes had to be grounded during an emergency, as wildfires raged across the state. That's because there wasn't anyone to fly them.

Cal Fire officials say the S-2 is a small attack type plane that needs specialized training, and there aren't that many pilots available to do the job. In addition, a typical work week was six days on and one day off, which has become exhausting because fires have been tearing through California all year round. 

Some believe that pilots are now opting for private sector piloting jobs instead. Despite the shortage, Cal Fire says they are still able to put out almost 95% of fires before they burn 10 acres.


Photo Credit: Getty Images 

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