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Bipartisan Coalition Attempting To Boost CAL Fire’s Staffing

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Sacramento, CA — Lawmakers at the state capitol are proposing legislation ahead of the upcoming fire season to significantly increase CAL Fire’s staffing.

Republican Senator Shannon Grove of Bakersfield and Democratic Senator Mike McGuire of Healdsberg are co-authoring a budget proposal that calls for hiring 1,124 additional firefighters.  Of which, 356 would be full-time employees, and the others would be seasonal workers. It would allow CAL Fire to meet a national standard that calls for three firefighters per engine.

Senator Grove argues, “We are in a pivotal time when it comes to preparing for wildfire season and that includes addressing the CAL FIRE staffing shortage. This legislation will serve as a critical down payment to support our firefighters while they protect life, property, and natural resources for all Californians.”

CAL Fire reports that it currently has around 5,300 full-time fire professionals, foresters, and administrative employees; 1,783 seasonal firefighters; 2,750 local government volunteer firefighters; 600 Volunteers in Prevention; and 4,300 inmates and wards that currently provide 196 fire crews.