We had a disastrous fire here in 2003.
"The Cedar Fire
was a wildfire
which burned over 280,000 acres (1,133 km2) of land in San Diego County
during October and November 2003.
The fire's rapid growth was driven by the Santa Ana winds
, causing the fire to spread at a rate of 3,600 acres (15 km2) per hour.
By the time the fire was fully contained on November 4, it had burned 280,278 acres
(1,134.2 km2) of land, destroyed 2,820 buildings (including 2,232 homes)
and killed 15 people
, including one firefighter.
The fire remains one of the largest wildfires in California history
and, as of June 2017, 
the largest wildfire in the state's history caused by human activity. According to CALFIRE
, it is also the third deadliest and second most destructive wildfire in state history." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedar_Fire_(2003)
A big complaint was they had 2 tanker planes and a Helicopter with a bucket at the ready to fight the fire before it got of control and they were told to stand down: "Two sheriff's helicopter pilots, Dave Weldon and Gene Palos, both flying separate aircrafts, said last week that they were told by a CDF and U.S. Forest Service dispatcher to "stand down" and halt a plan to drop water on the flames, and that federal and state firefighting aircrafts ( 2 water full tankers waiting on the tarmac not far away) would not be available to battle the blaze, which at that time was 5 to 20 acres.
"It was definitely frustrating at the time, but it was understandable," said Weldon, who reported the fire when he arrived at the scene at 5:45 p.m. to rescue the hunter. Minutes later, Palos, who was en route from Balboa Park with a 110-gallon water bucket, said he was told to abort the mission by the dispatcher. He was heading to the El Capitan Reservoir in East County to fill the bucket, and then to Cedar Creek, which is near Ramona and minutes away.
"Weldon said a helicopter would not have done the job alone, but the flames may have been extinguished from an air tanker's precision water drop."
"Both fire agencies offered several explanations to back up their actions. They have said federal rules prohibit firefighting aircraft from flying later than 30 minutes before sunset. That evening, sunset was at 6:06 p.m., which meant the cutoff time for flights was 5:36 p.m., a minute before the blaze began." The good news is they have learned a lot since 2003. They changed their rules on when to fly. Taxpayers have purchased more fire fighting helos and fixed wing tankers. These things have been game changers, quick detection with better communication through the multiple agencies. Getting aircraft out there in minutes while the fire is only an acre or 2 compared to 100's of acre makes a huge difference. This fire just happened and the response was awesome. If you watch the video the aircraft gets to places fire fighters just can't safely get to, especially in a timely fashion. http://www.cbs8.com/story/35490914/brush-fire-burning-in-mission-trails-park
We are having a bad year here because of a wet winter resulting in a lot of dry brush (fuel) and fires have been popping up more than usual. But with all the new advanced aircraft equipment we have. We are not having the disastrous fires of the past. The aircraft investment is nothing compared to the loss from a out of control fire.