Sacramento, CA — California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on state residents to get ready for the upcoming fire season.
This morning the Governor officially declared the week of May 7-13 as “Wildfire Awareness Week.” With heavy rain and snow over the winter months, the vegetation is expected to be very heavy this season, and once it starts to dry out, the risk of catastrophic wildfire will heighten. Combined with high tree mortality, officials are expecting another very busy season.
The Governor’s official proclamation is below:
Recently, California has experienced a drastic increase in the occurrence of large, damaging wildfires. Half of the state’s largest fires in recorded history have occurred in just the last 10 years. The citizens of California must do their part to help protect lives, property, and our state’s precious natural resources.
Despite recent rains, millions of dead and dying trees continue to increase the risk of destructive wildfires across the state. In 2015, I declared a state of emergency to address the state’s unprecedented tree die-off epidemic. The Tree Mortality Task Force – comprised of over 80 state and federal agencies, local and tribal governments and utilities – has to date removed over 423,000 dead trees in high-risk areas.
Wildfires are a natural, periodic occurrence in California. Many native species depend on cyclical fires for survival. Unfortunately, this natural process often conflicts with human land use, and careless or malicious human activity causes many fires that would not have occurred naturally. In order to continue to enjoy the economic and recreational benefits of our wilderness lands, we must strive to achieve a balance between California’s fire ecology and the need to protect human life and property.
Firefighting alone cannot protect us, and every citizen, especially those living in fire-prone areas, has an important role in preventing loss of life and property from wildfire events. This week, we should all do our part to raise public awareness of the fire season that is already upon us, and take steps to protect lives, homes and families in the event of a wildfire.
In conjunction with Wildfire Awareness Week, CAL FIRE has launched a campaign to educate homeowners on the steps they should take to prepare themselves for wildfire. This potentially lifesaving information can be found at www.ReadyForWildfire.org.
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 7-13, 2017 as “Wildfire Awareness Week.”