Governor Newsom addresses fierce fire season that California is facing


FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — Governor Gavin Newsom addressed response and readiness efforts in place for the state’s fire season on Wednesday morning.

“We are not just in a fire season, but we are in a fire year,” said Cal Fire Chief Joe Tyler.

Fire crews across the state are battling nearly 20 wildfires, including the Basin Fire in Fresno County and the French Fire in Mariposa County.

California has already faced more than 3,500 wildfires this year.

That’s about 500 more than 2023, but below the five-year average.

Fires have also been more destructive, burning a total of over 207,000 acres.

Tyler says this month’s response is non-stop.

“Between July 4th and July 5th, 227 additional wild land fires,” said Tyler.

Newsom says California continues to increase its aerial firefighting force to attack dangerous flames from above, even at night.

And fire alert cameras are helping to identify wildfires early even before 911 calls start coming in.

” These are AI assisted cameras, best in class, next generation. We have hundreds of these and we’ve put all over the state,” said Newsom.

Newsom believes climate change has played a role in recent fire behavior but says the state is responding in a number of ways.

That includes a plan to bring in more than 2,400 firefighters over five years, but officials are also urging residents to be ready.

“This is my plea to you, please create a wildfire action plan that addresses escape routes, meeting points, animal arrangements and a communications plan with your family,” said Tyler.

You can learn more about how to be prepared for an emergency by heading to ready.ca.gov.

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