Schwarzenegger Stimulates State Firefighting Resources
Fire season well underway in California.
While visiting one of four major fires burning in California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continued to shuffle state resources to provide firefighting assistance. This is the latest in a series of moves the Governor has made to ensure that the 2009 fire season, one of the driest in recent history, can be met head on.
On May 5, Governor Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-05-09, mobilizing the California Department of Forestry and CAL FIRE to secure and deploy the additional resources and personnel that are necessary to save lives and protect homes from wildfires in this fire season.
The moves are critical this time of year for many communities, not the least of which Santa Clarita, where the Buckweed fire destroyed 21 homes two years ago.
"My Administration is doing all we can to ensure the state has the emergency response resources in place to respond quickly to the Lockheed fire and to fires that continue to burn throughout the state," said Governor Schwarzenegger, on site at the Lockheed fire in Santa Cruz county Saturday. "California has the best and bravest firefighters working on the front lines to protect our citizens and I am confident that they will beat back these fires like they have done in years past."
When the state does flex their muscle, they can send a vast number of firefighters, fire engines and aircraft to any number of incidents. Right now, the state has committed the following federal and local personnel and assets to assist with firefighting efforts statewide:
- 6,853 Fire Personnel
- 711 Fire Engines
- 187 Hand Crews
- 68 Helicopters
- 46 Fixed Winged Aircraft
- 109 Bulldozers
- 117 Water Tenders
While fire season never fully goes dormant in Santa Clarita, this could be considered a highly active time. Several fires have been beaten back locally, mostly off the I-5 freeway near Castaic. Statewide, approximately 117,152 acres have burned in the last 17 days.
The most dangerous time for major wildfires begins in late August and runs through November, when the Santa Ana winds make their yearly appearance.
In addition to the Lockheed Fire, there are four other fires burning throughout the state right now including the Coffin Fire in Trinity County, SHU Lightning Complex Fire in Shasta County, Corral Incident in San Joaquin County, and the La Brea Fire in Santa Barbara County. The La Brea fire has been sending dark smoke hundreds of miles into Santa Clarita's horizon since last week.
Governor Schwarzenegger receives a briefing on the status of firefighting efforts statewide.
From left to right: California Emergency Management Agency Acting Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen, CAL FIRE Director Del Walters and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.