(Minutes after this was written we learned that two more MAFFS units were activated, for a total of four now.)
Last week the state of California activated 11 National Guard aircraft to assist with firefighting efforts — nine helicopters and two C-130 Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) air tankers. Below is an excerpt from an article at Lake County News:
…[O]n Thursday, at the request of Cal Fire and the California Office of Emergency Services, the California National Guard mobilized nine of its helicopters to help battle the Northern California wildfires.
The nine Army National Guard aircraft active in supporting Cal Fire include four UH-60 Black Hawk, two CH-47 Chinook, two LUH-72 Lakota and one HH-60 Black Hawk medevac helicopters.
The aircraft provide water bucket, medical evacuation and personnel and equipment transportation capabilities.
Then, on Friday, the Guard activated two C130 MAFFS air tankers, which Cal Fire said will provide additional equipment and personnel to augment its forces during the high level of fire activity California is experiencing across the state.
The MAFFS were not mobilized nationally through the US Forest Service. The Governor has the authority to activate National Guard resources. There are still five other National Guard and Air Force Reserve MAFFS units in Wyoming, Colorado, and North Carolina that have not yet been mobilized.
— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) August 2, 2015
— CaliforniaGuard (@theCaGuard) August 1, 2015
— 146thAirliftWing (@146AirliftWing) July 31, 2015
— CaliforniaGuard (@theCaGuard) July 31, 2015