CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
CONTACT: Daniel Berlant, (916) 651-FIRE (3473), on twitter @CALFIRE_PIO RELEASE DATE: May 5, 2014
Sacramento – Drought conditions have led to a significant increase in wildfire activity and to ensure Californians are ready, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has declared May 4-10, 2014 as “Wildfire Awareness Week”. CAL FIRE is reminding residents during Wildfire Awareness Week of the dangers posed by wildfires and the simple steps that should be followed to prepare for and prevent them.
“Fire Season really never ended last year in many parts of California,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “We continue to have very dry conditions and experience unusually early fire behavior that is extreme for this time of year.”
According to the state’s final snow survey on May 1, the statewide snowpack water content is only 18 percent of normal. Between January 1 and May 3, CAL FIRE has responded to over 1,200 wildfires that have charred nearly 2,700 acres. In an average year for the same time period, CAL FIRE would typically respond to fewer than 600 wildfires.
During Wildfire Awareness Week, CAL FIRE is reminding Californians that when it comes to wildfires, remember “Ready, Set, Go!”. Being Ready for a wildfire starts by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space and hardening homes with fire resistant building materials.
“With this year’s drought it is absolutely critical that residents be prepared for wildfires by ensuring they have 100 feet of Defensible Space around their homes,” said Chief Pimlott. “Most wildfires are preventable and we need residents and vacationers to be extra cautious outdoors because one less spark means one less wildfire.”
Homeowners looking for additional information on how to prepare themselves, their families and their homes for wildfire can visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org. The site offers tips for residents to make their homes more resistant to wildfires and to ensure that their families are ready to evacuate early and safely when a wildfire strikes.
Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste – visit SaveOurH2O.org to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit Drought.CA.Gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.