Each year California highlights the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness by declaring a week in May as “Wildfire Awareness Week.” On Monday, May 8th, several agencies came together to kick off Wildfire Awareness Week with a joint press conference and to remind California residents of the dangers posed by wildfires.
“We are all in this together,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of California’s Office Of Emergency Services.
“We want to make certain that the resources get to the right place, the right kind of resources are getting to the right place and that we do as much as we can to protect lives and property through these types of events,” Ghilarducci said.
Despite record amounts of rain this winter, California has already experienced about 500 fires this year. With an estimated 100 million trees killed as a result of the five year drought, fuel will be plentiful as California moves into Summer and the peak of fire season. Cal OES Fire and Rescue has over 165 fire apparatus and 195 vehicles assigned to local government agencies that can be called upon in a moments notice.
“We literally can have twelve to fifteen thousand firefighters in a jurisdiction, any place in the state of California within twelve hours,” said Ghilarducci.
There are 5,987 fire apparatus available statewide through the mutual aid system and OES is able to mobilize 500 apparatus within a span of 12 hours. An additional 500 apparatus can then be moved within 12 to 24 hours.
Cal OES broadcast Monday’s Wildfire Awareness Week kick off event live on our Facebook page. To view the press conference as well as an interview with Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci, visit our Cal OES Facebook page.