Public Safety

New Firefighting Weapon Added to County Arsenal

San Diego County has added a third helicopter to its firefighting fleet, beefing up regional air support in time for the high-risk wildfire season.

The Bell 205 A-1 will be based at Gillespie Field in El Cajon and flown by ASTREA, the Sheriff’s Department aviation unit. It can hoist critical equipment, ferry firefighters to remote spots and includes a 375-gallon water tank for fire suppression.

The new helicopter makes nine total for the County’s fleet. Here are some ASTREA facts from 2014:

2014_ASTREA By the Numbers

Michele Clock is a group communications officer with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact