wildfires

Photo by California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Crews are making progress on cleaning up hundreds of properties that were devastated by the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

It has been about six months since the Woolsey and Hill wildfires destroyed more than 1,500 properties. About two-thirds of those are under the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program with no direct cost to owners.

A new report by a task force created by the governor is calling for a number of steps to help the state deal with wildfires. It highlights the fact that when you include infernos like the Thomas Fire, and the Woolsey Fire, 10 of most destructive brush fires in the state’s history have occurred since 2015.

Businesses that were damaged or destroyed or othewise impacted by the Woolsey and Hill fires can now get the help they need. Secretary of State Alex Padilla has launched a new web portal to provide information and resources to businesses affected by wildfires.

It can be difficult for business owners who have had their business records, insurance and employment and other information lost, damaged or destroyed by a brush fire.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Researchers are trying to understand the decision-making process of Ventura and Santa Barbara county residents who received evacuation orders during the Thomas Fire.

Stephen Wong, a doctoral candidate in transportation engineering at UC Berkeley, is conducting a research project to help gain insight about evacuations during the wildfires that hit Southern California last December – including the Thomas, Rye, Creek and Skirball Fires.

Wildland fires have been able to flare up any month of the year depending on conditions, but this week marks the shift into "high" fire season in Santa Barbara County.

That shift marks a universal timeline for fire agencies to increase resources available for dispatch at the first sign of smoke and flames.

About 50 veterans are participating in a four-day firefighting training workshop in the Santa Monica Mountains, so that they’ll be prepared to be on the front lines during the upcoming wildfire season. 

Water flows through a creek  at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills where Bureau of Land Management firefighting instructors are showing veterans how to use a portable pump. They pump water from the creek into a fire hose.

John Carter, a Navy veteran, is a seasonal firefighter who is hoping this course will hone his skills.

More than a hundred young people from across California and Nevada just wrapped up a week of training on the South Coast to become firefighters.