RIVERSIDE – A dearth of winter rain and tinderbox conditions in many parts of Southern California is prompting Cal Fire to return crews to 24- hour operations, it was announced today.
Beginning Monday, the agency will activate peak staffing at fire stations in Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties.
”Even with rain (this month), our fire activity has remained 200 percent over average statewide,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said. ”The rain has been great, but it has not been enough to make up for our dry winter and California’s drought.”
The seasonal workforce increases in the Inland Empire and San Diego will allow the state to staff its fire stations around-the-clock.
So far this year, Cal Fire has responded to more than 800 wildfires. In an average year for the same time period, its personnel would typically fight fewer than 275 blazes, officials said.
Homeowners were advised to take precautionary steps to protect their properties. More information is available at www.ReadyforWildfire.org .