Game balance is so important, and we've been thinking very hard how to balance gameplay vs reality. In real wildland firefighting, generally it's 90%+ ground crews that put out the fire, and water bombers, retardant bombers and other aircrafts are usually an independent company which the government outsources. Frankly, it's really expensive to use them.
So part of the idea is your team is mainly ground crews, cut teams, hose teams, engines, dozers, etc with perhaps a helicopter or two. These units are the ones that will gain experience as you play. However, bombers are a different story.
The bombers are shared over many states on what is called a "Ready Board". As an Incident Commander, you can request reinforcements to the "Ready Board". However, there's only a limited number of bombers everyone has to share. Now, considering the gameplay vs reality, to reflect that bombers are sometimes not available, there'd be a delay from the time you request a bomber to the time the bomber arrives, if they are available. Though, once it does get into "play", you'll have access to it for the rest of the mission. The "Ready Board" will have a certain random element as well, sometimes only 1 bomber will be available, sometimes more, sometimes none. I was thinking that perhaps it would depend on other players who are online at the time, and how many bombers are currently in use.
I'd really like to know what players think of this idea.