June 5, 2000
Karen Terrill
CDF Information Officer
(916) 653-5123


CDF Gears Up for Fire Season


Sacramento - Sacramento - Thirteen units of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) declared Fire Season today, June 5, 2000. They join three other units that opened fire season last month. "The temperatures are rising, vegetation is drying out, and summer weather patterns have begun," said CDF Director Andrea E. Tuttle. "CDF is once again preparing to battle California wildfires."

As of today, 16 of CDF's 21 administrative units have declared fire season: San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, Tulare, Madera-Mariposa-Merced, Fresno-Kings, San Benito-Monterey, Santa Clara, San Mateo-Santa Cruz, Sonoma-Lake-Napa, Nevada-Yuba-Placer, Butte, Mendocino, Tehama-Glenn, and Shasta-Trinity. The CDF Amador-El Dorado and Tuolumne-Calaveras units are expected to declare fire season on Monday, June 12, with the Lassen-Modoc, Siskiyou, and Humboldt units declaration dates to follow.

"Fire Season" for CDF is simply a state of readiness. Various management decisions are made by the unit chief in response to his/her own local conditions, such as the hiring of seasonal firefighters, staffing facilities 24 hours per day, increasing dispatch levels, or canceling burn permits.

"Although we never know what a fire season may bring, the destruction that occurred in California last year, and the fires that have already occurred in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas this year demonstrate the tremendous potential of wildfire," said Director Tuttle. Within CDF's jurisdiction in 1999, 7,562 fires burned 285,272 acres and destroyed 1,385 structures. Statewide, over 700,000 acres burned. Last fire season was also deadly as two firefighters were killed in the line of duty. "Unfortunately each year we see disasters that could have been prevented," said Glen Newman, CDF Deputy Director for Fire Protection. "I cannot stress enough that now is the time for all California residents to take action. Create defensible space around your homes, become involved in your local Fire Safe Council, and be extra careful when recreating in our wildlands this summer. Let's have a safe fire season for our citizens and our firefighters."

Contact your nearest CDF facility for more information on fire safety, and visit the CDF web site at www.fire.ca.gov.

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