â€” CAL FIRE Increases Staffing As Fire Threat Expands â€“
Additional Seasonal Firefighters Hired From Sacramento Foothills to LA Basin
SacramentoÂ -Â Despite recent rainfall, CAL FIRE continues to respond to a significant increase in wildfires
across much of California. While March rain totals were higher than this winter, the rain has done little to
combat drought conditions. Starting Monday, March 31, CAL FIRE will begin hiring additional seasonal
firefighters in Central California, the Bay Area region and the Sacramento foothills.
Even with rain in March, our fire activity has remained 200 percent more over average statewide, said
Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. The rain has been great, but it has not been enough to make up for
our dry winter and California’s drought.
Mondayâ€™s move includes the hiring of additional seasonal firefighters and the opening of many remote
seasonal fire stations. The staffing increase comes after several months of CAL FIRE staffing equipment
with permanent and seasonal firefighters several months earlier than normal.
This week’s rainfall has stayed relatively in the North, but the medium and heavy brush and timber along
the Central Coast and Southern end of the state remain critically dry, said Chief Thom Porter, CAL FIRE
assistant southern region chief. A recent fire in Monterey County charred 400 acres with extreme
intensity, despite the humidity being above 80 percent.
Between January 1 and March 22, CAL FIRE has responded to over 800 wildfires that have charred nearly
2,300 acres. In an average year for the same time period, CAL FIRE would typically respond to under 275
wildfires for approximately 1,000 acres.