As the summer approaches, so does California’s fire season. Budget cuts and extra rain have fire officials on guard.
This year’s wet weather makes for more green growth. More brush and grass mean more fuel for fire. Cal Fire’s Daniel Berlant says, “just because we received so much rain this year, doesn’t mean that we’re not going to get wildfires.”
Budget cuts mean there will be 730 fewer firefighters statewide during peak season this year. Each fire engine will have three firefighters instead of four. Berlant says preparation is necessary, no matter what kind of fire season is ahead.
“We need homeowners to go out there, around their home, clear defensible space, any dead dying leaves, weeds, brush, away from their homes. So when a wildfire does occur, their home has a fighting chance of surviving.”
Despite staffing cuts, Cal Fire will have the same number of fire stations and engines this year.