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CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit Declares End to Fire Season, Transitions to Winter Preparedness

MARIPOSA – Recent rains and cooler temperatures across the region have lowered the threat of wildfires allowing CAL FIRE’s Madera, Mariposa, Merced Unit (MMU) to declare an end to fire season effective Monday, December 28, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. within Madera, Mariposa and Merced Counties.

“2020 brought yet another record-setting peak wildfire season. Fires impacted the entire state, reminding us of the importance of preparation,” said Mike van Loben Sels, CAL FIRE MMU Unit Chief. “Now is the time to create and maintain defensible space and to prepare for the upcoming season. It’s important for residents to preplan by establishing escape routes and a checklist of things to take in the event of a wildfire this upcoming year.”

CAL FIRE will maintain a minimum staffing to meet potential threats, as well as maintaining the ability to strategically move resources to areas that remain at a higher threat level. CAL FIRE will also continue to monitor weather conditions closely and will maintain the ability to increase staffing should weather conditions change or if there is a need to support wildfires or other emergencies in other areas of the State.

The 2020 fire season has been an extremely active year, with over 4.2 million acres burned, 2020 saw 5 of the top 6 largest wildfires in California’s recorded history.

Statewide, CAL FIRE and firefighters from many local agencies responded to over 8,112 wildfires within the State Responsibility Area, a 38% increase over the 5-year average. The most important metrics, though, are the negative impacts to humans and ecosystems: 33 deaths, with 10,500 structures damaged or destroyed.

For the environment, thousands of acres of devastated forest watersheds with no seed source for miles will take an extraordinary effort to reestablish. This will impact the forest ecosystem – and our water sources – for many years to come.

During the cooler winter months, CAL FIRE will continue to actively focus efforts on fire prevention and fuels treatment activities as guided by the State’s Strategic Fire Plan and MMU Fire Plan.

These will be done through public education, prescribed burns, and various types of fuel reduction. These activities are aimed at reducing the impacts of large, damaging wildfires and improving overall forest health.

For more ways to burn safely visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org.

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