After six-plus years of historic drought, Governor Edmund G. Brown rescinded the state of emergency order, excluding four counties, in the wake of one of the wettest winters in state history. Only Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne counties remain in a drought emergency.
The drought is effectively over, though one of the fallouts from sustained dry conditions are recognizable in various counties throughout California. Tree mortality, resulting from unprecedented drought and subsequent bark beetle infestations, has stripped California forests of more than 100 million trees.
The mortality data is based on the U.S. Forest Service Aerial Detection Survey flown across all forested lands of the state each year. The Forest Service has already treated 30,000 acres of dead trees, with more to come.
Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed May 1-7 as “Wildfire Awareness Week” in California. Last year’s destructive Valley and Butte fires as well as the ongoing drought and vast tree mortality remind Californians of the fire dangers the state continues to face this fire season.
Wildfire Awareness Week was kicked off at CAL FIRE’s Aviation Management Unit in Sacramento by Governor Brown with state and federal leaders. Governor Brown was joined by Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci, CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott, California National Guard General David Baldwin, U.S. Forest Service Region 5 Deputy Regional Forester Jeanne Wade Evans, and California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird.
State and federal officials not only discussed steps their respective agencies are taking in preparation of fire season, but stressed steps Californians can take to reduce their risk – … continue reading »
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As firefighters continue to use a large number of resources to battle a wildfire burning in the mountains west of Palm Springs, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has authorized the activation of two specialized firefighting C-130J aircraft from the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing to assist with current and potential wildfire activity throughout the state.
“The activation of these specialized aircraft provides firefighters another tactical resource to help limit the impacts of aggressive wildfires,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of Cal OES, which is responsible for … continue reading »