Calfire ups Northern CA staffing for wildfire season
TRUCKEE, Calif. — The state began upping staffing levels this week in Northern California in response to warming temperatures and drying conditions, officials said.
On Monday, Calfire began transitioning into fire season, with a focus on counties of Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Placer, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo and Colusa, and parts of Stanislaus and San Joaquin.
Since late January, the agency has been hiring and training seasonal firefighters “well ahead of schedule in order to augment its full-time firefighting force,” officials said in a news release.
“The drought has set the stage for an already busy fire season,” Kelley Gouette, operations chief for Calfire’s Northern Region, said in a statement. “We’ve been ramping up to meet the elevated threat of wildfire since January and this transition into fire season in the northern region is more than a month ahead of schedule.”
In 2014, Calfire has responded to more than twice as many fires as average, according to the news release, with nearly 1,200 wildfires igniting as of Saturday.
With fire season under way in Northern California and Truckee/Tahoe, Calfire is asking homeowners to ensure that they are prepared.
Here are some tips to help prepare your home:
• Maintain 100 feet of defensible space
• Clear all pine needles and leaves from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
• Trim branches six feet from the ground.
• Landscape with fire resistant/drought tolerant plants.
Residents and visitors are also encouraged to use trimming, mowing and powered equipment outdoors before 10 a.m., and to ensure trailer chains and other parts of your vehicle are not dragging on the road.
For information on preparing for wildfires and defensible space, visit livingwithfire.info or readyforwildfire.org.