California’s Wildfire Preparedness Week is being observed May 1 through 7, 2022, and CAL FIRE and its partner agencies are spending the week raising awareness on what individuals and communities can do to help protect themselves against the threat of wildfires. Being proactive and prepared for wildfire is crucial for all Californians in making its communities more resilient to the impacts of wildfire.
Almost half of the state’s largest and most damaging wildfires occurred in 2020 and 2021, and more than 6.8 million acres burned during this time. Lack of rainfall, with above normal temperatures through the spring, will leave fuel moisture levels lower than normal, increasing the potential for wildland fire activity. In 2022, CAL FIRE has already responded to more than 1,400 wildfires, burning more than 6,500 acres on state and federal lands combined.
“California continues to experience longer wildfire seasons as a direct result of climate change,” said Joe Tyler, CAL FIRE Director/Chief. “Minimal rainfall is expected throughout the spring, leaving most of the state in moderate to extreme drought conditions prior to summer.”
This year, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget for CAL FIRE allocates more than $3 billion for fire management, fire prevention, mitigation efforts including prescribed fire and fuel breaks, forest health, and home hardening.
Californians also have an important role in preparing for and preventing wildfires. Thousands of communities depend on smart planning and prevention tools like protective fuel breaks, defensible space, and home hardening for their safety and survival. These tools work together to build more fire-resilient communities. By preparing well in advance of a wildfire and taking steps now to reduce wildfire risks, you can dramatically increase your safety, the safety of your community, and the survivability of your home.
To learn more about wildfire safety and preparedness, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org. Additionally, CAL FIRE continues to encourage Californians to access the “Ready for Wildfire” web-based app that includes local alerts, checklists for preparedness, evacuation plans, and other kits. To download the free app, visit https://plan.readyforwildfire.org/.