Cal Fire warns of long, dangerous fire season

HEMET, Calif. - Cal Fire officials are preparing for a long, dangerous fire season in the state and are requesting for people to do their part to protect themselves and their property.  "It's critical now that the public hears the message that we are in critical fire danger statewide," said Chief Kevin Pimlott, Cal Fire's director. 

Cal Fire was joined by other emergency officials and first responders who made a stop in Riverside County as part of Wildfire Awareness week.  Fire season never ended in the southland and departments statewide continue to up their resources in preparation for the worst. They want residents to do the same, asking them to clear brush around their homes, come up with a plan and be ready to go.  "That prevention is going to make a big difference into whether we can have a very safe fire season or a dangerous one," said Riverside county supervisor Jeff Stone.  

The warning comes days after the Obama administration released the third National Climate Assessment.  The president says the US is already dealing with problems from climate change, things like longer, more dangerous fire seasons. "Subtle changes of climate change combine that with this cyclical drought, this probably being our worst drought in Southern California's history, and you really see the impacts on vegetation and fire activity," said Pimlott.  

In an effort to make sure Cal Fire has all the resources it needs, the Riverside county board of supervisors wants to build a new $30 million air attack base in Hemet. "The newest and the best air fighting apparatuses including night-flying helicopters, but it's going to allow us to quickly retard and get them off in the air faster than we've ever been able to do," said Stone. 

In the meantime, Cal Fire's message is clear. They need your help to ensure your safety this fire season.  "We've done our part to prepare for these unprecedented conditions now it's time to do your part," said Pimlott. 

For more information on how you can be ready go to:

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