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Cal Fire sets up a Helitack Base at San Martin Airport

Calfire Aircraft

August 21, 2020

This afternoon Cal Fire started the mobilization process to set up a helitack base at San Martin Airport.  There are a lot of resources involved and consequently, Cal Fire will be utilizing a great deal of the county parking ramp and the grass fields at the south end of the runway and taxiways.  We expect for Cal Fire to station between nine and twelve helicopters at the airport with a potential duration of two weeks.  In addition, they will be bringing in a temporary air traffic control tower to ensure the greatest level of safety for all airport users.  

While the fire response is ongoing, the wash rack at San Martin Airport will be closed.  Cal Fire will have a security guard stationed at the gate to facilitate access for their personnel and equipment. 

Helicopter and pickup truck on a plain field setting up a helitack base at San Martin Airport

Because of the size of this endeavor, if you have an aircraft parked on M or N rows and you have not already been approached by airport staff to relocate your airplane, please contact Femi at 408-918-7700 x27707 to reposition it to a vacant tie-down on the south end of the parking ramp.

To facilitate a greater safety buffer around the largest helicopters, we have temporarily closed sections of taxiway X-ray between A and R, and between B and J.  

The map below is a guideline for how Cal Fire will setup at the airport.  It is provided to help visualize the scale of this effort and to show the closed taxiways.

E16 Calfire Helitack Base Layout 08-21-20

This is a dynamic event where conditions are constantly changing.  Please check NOTAMS before arriving at the airport to ensure you have the latest information.  And if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at (408) 918-7722.

Eric Peterson, Director County Airport x27722

Ken Betts, Assistant Director County Airports x27706

Femi Odunbaku, Airport Operations Supervisors, 27707

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