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Governor Calls For Better Planning And Collaboration Ahead Of Fire Season

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Sacramento, CA — First responders from across the state are meeting today in Sacramento at an emergency management preparedness summit focused on large scale disasters.

During the opening remarks, Governor Gavin Newsom urged everyone to put politics aside ahead of the upcoming fire season, stating, “I thank each and every one of you, every right wing conservative, and left wing Democrat, thank you for giving a damn about your community, about your family, and about your neighbors.”

Newsom stated that there were 16,600 fires between 2017 and 2018, 139 lives were lost, and 2.8 million acres were destroyed.

He argued, “The state can’t take 2018 again, and it can’t do 2017 or 2015, again.”

He added, “There are 971 million reasons that we are in a better position this year than last year. That is the incremental increase in this year’s budget.”

Newsom says it includes an upgrade to the 911 system, prepositioning resources when it comes to engines and personnel, outfitting C130’s, upgrading Black Hawk Helicopters to fly at night, adding better satellite technology, fuel thinning, property hardening, and focusing on socioeconomic issues, like helping at-need, and at-risk residents, who may not have a vehicle to evacuate.

He also stated that his earlier emergency declaration has helped move thinning projects forward, reducing some individualized CEQA requirements for projects in areas of extreme risk. He also called for continuing to support and invest in climate initiatives.

He concluded by saying it will take “more resources, and a more resourceful mindset,” to curb wildfires in the state.