The Porterville Air Attack Base was established in 1958 and is located at the south-eastern end of the San Joaquin Valley in CDF Tulare Unit. The base is operated jointly by CDF and the US Forest Service.
Aircraft responds to an average of 250 calls per year. Staff at the base consists of one battalion chief, one fire captain, one seasonal fire apparatus engineer, and three firefighters. Forest Service staff consists of one division chief, one battalion chief, one fire captain and three firefighters. The complement of aircraft located at Porterville includes one OV-10 Bronco, one S-2T airtanker and one King Air 100.
On average, the base pumps about 400,000 gallons of retardant a year. With the base’s pumps, five loading pits and equipment, Porterville has a possible peak output of 170,000 gallons of retardant each day.
The base’s direct protection area encompasses over 4.7 million acres and spans from Sequoia National Park south to Highway 58 and east to Highway 395.