CALIFORNIA – The U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies will be joining Cal Fire for a series of events across the state to celebrate Wildfire Awareness Week, May 1-7.
Despite near-normal rain and snowpack in some areas, long term drought conditions continue to affect large parts of the state, including many of California’s 18 national forests.
Jeanne Wade Evans, Deputy Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, joined Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott and other officials to kick off Wildfire Awareness Week on Monday, May 2, in Sacramento.
Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the Pacific Southwest Region, Shawna Legarza, will attend Wildfire Awareness Week events, helping highlight fire prevention and preparedness programs.
“This is a great opportunity to get out and remind the public of the important things they can do to prepare themselves for wildfires that may threaten their communities,” said Legarza.
Wildfire activity across the 20 million acres of national forests in California has been minimal so far this year. However, officials expect an active fire season primarily due to the effects of long term drought conditions. Last year, 1,657 fires occurred on national forest lands in California burning some 537,446 acres.
Wildfire Awareness Week will conclude on Saturday, May 7, which has been designated National Wildfire Preparedness Day (#wildfireprepday) sponsored by Firewise and the Fire Adapted Communities Network. U.S. Forest Service personnel will join local Fire Safe Councils and other groups at several events in forest communities across California.
For more information on how to make your home and community adapted to wildfire, visit: www.fireadapted.org.
For online campfire permits and other fire prevention information, visit the California Wildfire Coordinating Group’s wildfire prevention website at www.preventwildfireca.org. Available at the same site is information on the award-winning “One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire” campaign.
This interagency effort is designed to raise awareness about human-caused fires. Human-caused wildfires, particularly those related to vehicles, are a leading cause of wildfires in California.