‘We got really lucky’: Why California escaped another destructive fire season in 2022
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SAN FRANCISCO – Fire officials are asking for the public’s help.
A week after the devastating Tubbs Fire roared near the San Francisco Bay Area, officials say a second major fire season could be right around the corner.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking the federal government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide extra manpower and money to add more firefighters to fight the blazes.
“The last thing our children need is another year of devastating wildfires,” Newsom said Tuesday night. “Right now, we are asking for help on the front line to respond to what should be a very short term matter.”
Newsom said that as much as $30 million could be directed to local governments, fire departments and communities to combat some of the new fires, which are starting earlier and burning more intensely.
Fire officials are urging residents to report threatening calls to 911 or text a message to [email protected].
“Our public safety workers need your help,” said San Mateo County Fire Chief Ken Pimlott. “If you see anything that is not safe to come home to, please step away. Call 911 or send a text. If you see an emergency, call 911.”
Here are just a few reasons why California needs more firefighters to fight wildfires:
More hot spots. According to the Forest Service, more than 85% of all burned forests in the country are in California. About 3,300 of these forests are in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
A study by Cal Fire found that more than half of all fires in the state have burned in those three combined counties this year.
The new fires are burning earlier and are more intense, leaving less time for firefighters to get into position. A San Mateo County deputy fire chief told the San Francisco Chronicle that fires in the area started three days ago, and by day’s end, they could be 5 miles away.
Wildfires have burned through more than 7,000 acres within the three counties since Oct. 8, in addition to more than 5,000 acres