Forest Service Bulks Up For Fire Season
California to boast over 4,000 US Forest firefighting personnel.
With much of California in the early part of fire season, the US Forest Service is beefing up their firefighting forces in California to over 4,000 personnel.
This surge is part of a tactic aimed at stomping out fires before they can grow into wildfire status. And this applies not just to government land, but to local communities as well.
“As the Region transitions into fire season, I am confident that we are well prepared to respond to wildfires in our national forests and to assist our firefighting partners in protecting local communities from wildfire,” said Pacific Southwest Regional Forecaster Randy Moore.
In Santa Clarita, many different firefighting agencies consistently work on our fires. In October, the SCV suffered through three simultaneous wildfires. Los Angeles County fire crews (with assistance from many other departments) battled the Buckweed fire. On the east side of Santa Clarita the US Forest Service tackled the Ranch fire and CalFire braved the Magic fire.
So far this year, almost 250 wildfires have already occurred in National Forests. Luckily, firefighters have been able to stop 98% of them before they could grow out of control. Forest officials credit this success to the quality of their crews, and a balanced arsenal of firefighters, aircraft and hand crews.
But by June those forces will swell to include over 250 engines, 48 Hotshot Crews, 40 Smoke Jumpers, and 32 helicopters in California alone.
While the numbers are believed to be sufficient now, as California gets deeper into fire season, more US Forest Service resources will be deployed as needed.
The US Forest Service acknowledges that on average, 91% of their fires are started by humans. These causes can range from lit cigarettes being thrown out of cars, to illegal campfires in the forest.
Fire safety tips and guidelines are available at the US Forest Service website.