The private company that owns the plane is trying to convince Cal Fire to add the aircraft to its firefighting arsenal.
Cal Fire currently has a three-year contract for a DC-10 airtanker, which can also drop water and fire retardant.
The new 747 Supertanker carries twice as much water or fire retardant as the DC-10.
The state's legislative analyst says the DC-10 is not cost effective. The plane cost the state nearly $7 million last year.