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Emergency Responders Meet Ahead Of Fire Season

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Sonora, CA — Many fire and emergency response leaders in the Tuolumne County region met Thursday to discuss and prepare for the upcoming fire season.

Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Dore Bietz reports that around 40 people took part in the meeting representing agencies and partners throughout the county, either in person or virtually. There were also officials from the National Weather Service, Department of Health and Human Services, the California Office of Emergency Services and PG&E.

Dry conditions, staffing concerns, and anticipated extreme heat were some of the big takeaways.

In response to the projected weather this summer, as relayed by the National Weather Service, Bietz reports, “We will probably have a lot more extreme heat events, in addition to increased fire weather.”

On the topic of staffing concerns, she says, “All of the fire agencies did do an update and many of them expressed a lack of staffing. From the US Forest Service, to local districts, and even the sheriff’s office, there are many vacancies that have yet to be filled, or maybe won’t be filled, prior to fire season.”

That could result in additional collaboration between the various agencies to ensure that all needs are met. Bietz notes that the local agencies already cooperate very well.

PG&E is also anticipating more power outages during times of high fire concern, including new emergency triggers installed on some circuits that can detect danger signs. Bietz notes that more on this topic will be relayed in the coming weeks.

Now is the time to make sure your property has defensible space, and that your family has an emergency plan, ahead of the fire season.

A programming note, the Mother Lode Views show airing the weekend of April 30 and May 1 will focus on fire safety and prevention.