SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared May 2 - 8 to be “Wildfire Preparedness Week" in California.
Last month, Newsom signed his proposed $536 million for wildfire mitigation and forest management projects. Earlier this year, Newsom also approved $80.74 million for 1,399 additional firefighters to help bolster fuels management and wildfire response efforts. That number breaks down to 1,256 seasonal firefighters, 119 firefighters to staff Cal Fire’s helicopter attack crews, and 24 seasonal firefighters for California National Guard hand crews, according to a press release.
According to Cal Fire, 2020 was one of the most severe fire seasons on record as 9,917 wildfires burned 4.2 million acres. Over 9,000 structures were destroyed and 31 people (civilians and firefighters) were killed.
California also experienced its first "Gigafire" because of the August Complex Fire, burning more than 1 million acres by itself. Four of California's top five largest wildfires in state history happened in 2020.
If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are 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.
Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts.
PG&E customers can also subscribe to alerts via text, email, or phone call. If you're a PG&E customer, visit the Profile & Alerts section of your account to register.
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