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CAL FIRE straining resources as wildfires rip through California

In 2020, California has seen a huge increase in wildfires. As of August 18, 2020, there have been 6,754, up more than 2,500 from 2019.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As wildfires continue to burn throughout California, CAL FIRE says they are straining resources to fight them.

"We're doing as much as we can with the resources at hand," said Lynette Round, a CAL FIRE spokesperson.

Resources that are stretched thin for CAL FIRE crews as fires like the LNU Lightning Complex and Jones Fire tear through thousands of acres.

“They’re working in extremely tough conditions, not only with the terrain but with the weather,” Round said of the crews battling the fires.

State fire officials say this year alone has seen a huge increase in wildfires. As of August 18, 2020, they say there were 6,754. That number is up from the 4,007 the state says were seen as of August 18, 2019.

Crews have worked tirelessly on the ground and in the air fighting the latest, devastating fires.

“So far we have 8,900 fire personnel from state, local, and federal agencies assisting with the fires we have here in California,” Round said. “We have requested 375 additional fire engines from out of state firefighting agencies and we're hoping to get those resources soon.”

CAL FIRE says they need those engines but they also more hand crews which have also been requested from out of state. CAL FIRE tells ABC10 that they are down inmate crews since some camps are under quarantine. A call for private firefighting aircraft has also been made.

At his press briefing Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom took a wide view.

“What has occurred over the last 72 hours has definitely stretched the resources of this state,” Newsom said, adding, “That said we are in a better state of preparedness.”

Newsom pointed to a newly formed state partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and said millions of dollars have been poured into CAL FIRE’s budget to bring on full-time firefighters and 858 seasonal firefighters.

“We're using what we can to get out there and do the best job,” Round said.  “Get those fired contained.”

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