After several March storms, temperatures have gone back up and California’s wildfire activity level has returned to above average. Starting Monday, April 14, CAL FIRE will hire nearly 100 additional seasonal firefighters that will be stationed from Shasta County down to Santa Cruz County; a move several months earlier than normal.
“The rain in March was needed, but the drought continues to have a strong hold on California,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “With temperatures back on the rise, so is the potential for large wildfires.”
Since late January, CAL FIRE has been staffing fire equipment in Northern California. Monday’s hiring will allow the department to train additional seasonal firefighters and staff more equipment in Shasta, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz counties. On March 31, CAL FIRE increased seasonal staffing in the Sacramento foothills and Bay Area.
“Over the last several months we have seen an unseasonable number of wildfires across Northern California,” said Chief Doug Wenham, CAL FIRE northern region chief. “Our weather forecast continues to show an increased potential in Northern California for large wildfires.”
Between January 1 and April 5, CAL FIRE has responded to approximately 900 wildfires that have charred nearly 2,400 acres. In an average year for the same time period, CAL FIRE would typically respond to fewer than 340 wildfires for just over 1,000 acres.
CAL FIRE continues to ask homeowners to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space. For more information on preparing for wildfires and Defensible Space visit ReadyForWildfire.org.
Visit Drought.ca.gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought, and for more water conservation ideas, visit SaveOurH2O.org.