CALIFORNIA--- California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says after the 2020 fire season broke records, the 2021 wildfire season could be as catastrophic and devastating.
“So far this year, CAL FIRE has responded to more than 1,300 wildfires that have burned more than 3,500 acres on state and federal lands combined.”
It says California experienced six of the largest and most destructive wildfires in state history in 2020 when more than four-million acres burned across the state, double the previous record from 2008. For another statistic, it says approximately 25% of the state’s population, or 11-million Californians, live in high-risk fire zones.
With ongoing dry conditions and temperatures well above normal for this time of year, CAL FIRE is encouraging personal responsibility against wildfire. It is asking people to “Do Your Part to Protect Your Community - Create Defensible Space and Harden Your Home” during California’s Wildfire Preparedness Week May 2-8.
CAL FIRE says, “Being proactive and prepared for wildfire is crucial to making our communities more resilient to the impacts of wildfire. You can dramatically increase your safety and the survivability of your home by preparing well in advance of a wildfire.”
CAL FIRE Chief Thom Porter says CAL FIRE has increased fire protection resources with 1,399 additional firefighters, 30 new fire crews, five state-of-the-art CAL FIRE S70i Hawk helicopters, enhanced technology to assist with fire behavior modeling, on-demand wildfire spread prediction, and wildfire risk forecasting capabilities. “While we are ramping up our preparedness; residents need to do the same.”
California says the State budgeted more than $1-billion for fire management, fire prevention, mitigation efforts including prescribed fire and fuel breaks, forest health, and home hardening.
CAL FIRE is developing and maintaining a list of more than 500 fuel projects across the state for fuel reduction work.
It says, “Firefighting alone cannot protect us. Californians have an important role in preventing wildfires as well as preparing for the upcoming wildfire season. Now is the time to ensure adequate defensible space around homes and buildings, make homes more fire resistant and have an emergency preparedness/escape plan.”
More wildfire safety and preparedness information is available at www.ReadyForWildfire.org.