Built in 1969, Chico Air Attack Base (CAAB) is home to an OV-10A Air Attack and an S2T Air Tanker. The S2T is capable of hauling 1,200 gallons of fire retardant and provides fast, aggressive initial attack to help CAL FIRE attain its goal of stopping 95% of all vegetation fires at 10 acres or less. The OV-10A acts in a command and control fashion, to coordinate the S2T with additional aircraft from other CAL FIRE air attack bases.
Any air tanker landing at CAAB can load with retardant in one of three-drive through pits, and within minutes be filled with fire retardant. CAAB can supply up to 100,000 gallons of fire retardant per day. Due to the long runway at Chico Airport, CAAB can service and support most of the large air tankers currently in use, and during major fires, it is not uncommon to see as many as seven air tankers moving through the pits at CAAB.
Personnel assigned to the base include one Battalion Chief, two Fire Captains, one Fire Apparatus Engineer, seven Firefighters, two contract Pilots, and one contract aircraft mechanic.
We are proud to serve the communities in Butte County and Northern California, and welcome the citizens to the air attack base for tours!