CALIFORNIA, USA — Cal Fire said that they have arrested 44 people suspected of arson in the first four months of 2021.
In a tweet Thursday, Cal Fire said that the number of arson arrests averages out to one arrest every three days.
According to a graphic, the arrests are already over a third of the total arrests for arson by Cal Fire law enforcement officers in 2020 and more than half of the total arrests the four years before that.
Total arson arrests by Cal Fire per year:
- 2021 so far: 44
- 2020: 120
- 2019: 70
- 2018: 61
- 2017: 86
- 2016: 73
Cal Fire said that if you suspect a fire was caused by arson to call the Arson Hotline at 800-468-4408 with any information and you can remain anonymous.
According to Cal Fire, in 2019, California wildfires burned just under 260,000 acres from 7,860 incidents. Over 700 structures were damaged or destroyed and three people were killed. This follower two years of some of the “deadliest and most destructive wildfires” in California history.
If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. A defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris is completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans to best prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.
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These smaller communities that rely on wells for water will be greatly impacted by the California drought.