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May 2024
Wildfire Preparedness Week 2024: Meeting the Mission through Partnerships 

Amidst the looming threat of wildfires in California, Wildfire Preparedness Week 2024, running from May 5 to 11, is a crucial call to action. CAL FIRE, in tandem with partner agencies, spearheaded a series of statewide events aimed at bolstering readiness levels across communities. Under the theme "Meeting the Mission Through Partnerships," the focus was on fostering collaboration among state, federal, and local entities to mitigate the challenges posed by the upcoming fire year. From fuel reduction initiatives to home hardening strategies, the emphasis was on proactive measures to safeguard lives and properties.

Director and Fire Chief Joe Tyler stressed the pivotal role of every Californian in mitigating wildfire risks, especially in the face of climate change's unpredictable impact on fire seasons. CAL FIRE's intensified forest management efforts, backed by grants and partnerships, aim to mitigate future wildfire impacts. However, firefighting efforts alone are inadequate. Residents are urged to engage in prevention measures, from creating defensible spaces around homes to participating in community wildfire protection plans.

As Californians brace for another potentially devastating fire season, the message remains clear: preparedness is paramount, and collaboration is key in safeguarding lives and communities against wildfire devastation. See photos and videos from all of the 21024 Wildfire Preparedness Week events below.
Mocha & Flash Raise the Woof at Their Swearing-In   

Recently, CAL FIRE – Office of the State Fire Marshal swore in two new members to the Arson and Bomb Canine Unit. On the 50th anniversary, the Canine Unit is now re-introduced following training and certifications by both newly assigned canines and handlers.

Mocha is the Unit’s Ignitable Liquid Detection Canine and Flash is the Unit’s Explosives Canine.
Behind the Scenes at the All-Risk Truck Academy

Ever wonder what it takes to respond to emergencies and save lives? In this behind-the-scenes look at a CAL FIRE Truck Academy, our dedicated teams train in truck company operations. Get a glimpse at how we prepare for every possible scenario through training in ventilation, search and rescue, forcible entry, and technical rescue, among other techniques. While the training involved many technical skills, the larger lesson is the teamwork needed to complete the mission.
New Funding to Support Underserved Urban & Community Forest Programs Across California 
The CAL FIRE Urban and Community Forestry Program has announced the opening of the application portal for 2024 Inflation Reduction Act grants, with $30.8 million in funding aimed at bolstering sustainable urban forests statewide. These grants target historically disinvested urban communities, seeking to enhance access to urban tree canopy and its associated benefits while promoting equity. The initiative encourages broad community involvement in urban forest planning and management, aiming to fortify resilience against climate change impacts and environmental stressors.
Is It Safe to Burn? Learn More About CAL FIRE Residential Burn Permits
During certain times of the year, when fire danger is high, residential hazard reduction burning of dead vegetation is unsafe. In this video, you will discover why it's important to learn before you burn.
The Scoop section
We’re Ready for Wildfire... Are You?

In preparation for the fire year, CAL FIRE has updated the ReadyForWildfire.org site. This one-stop-shop provides advice and guidance on everything from home hardening and defensible space, to what to pack for evacuation, to what California is doing to enhance and protect forest health. Stay one step ahead of California’s wildfires with our expert advice and together, we can be ready for wildfire.
Address Your Home’s Vulnerabilities to Better Withstand a Wildfire

Home hardening is the term used to describe vegetation management compliance and building materials used to resist the intrusion of flames or embers projected by a wildland fire. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and CAL FIRE urge homeowners to reduce their wildfire risk by taking science-backed actions to make vulnerable areas of their home ember-resistant. 90% of ignitions are caused by embers, not the main fire front. Once a home ignites in a wildfire it is almost always a total loss without firefighter intervention.
Don't Leave Your Defensible Space Stuck in the 60s
Sixty years ago, when it came to protecting your home from wildfires, it was all about that one thirty-foot zone, but now we have three zones that stretch up to 100 feet from your property. Defensible space is the buffer zone you create between your property and the surrounding wildland area. This space is key to slowing or stopping wildfire spread and protecting your home from embers, flames, or heat. It also gives firefighters a safer area to defend your property. In each of the three zones, the intensity of vegetation management increases as you get closer to your home. The goal is to start at your house and work outward, reaching up to 100 feet or your property line. 

Don’t leave your defensible space stuck in the 60s. Learn how to create defensible space on your property by following the link below. 
A Closer Look at How Helitack Crews Attack Fires

CAL FIRE helicopters don’t just drop water. They also deliver a crew of nine to combat the fire. Here is a look at what happens when those firefighters hit the ground. CAL FIRE’s 10 CAL helitack bases and one CAL FIRE/San Diego County Sheriff helitack base provide rapid response capabilities up and down the state. Learn more about how CAL FIRE Helitack Crews and other aviation assets are ready for wildfire.
How CAL FIRE is Using AI to Detect Wildfire 

See how CAL FIRE is spotting wildfires faster with the help of scientists from ALERT California and the power of AI in this episode of Nova PBS.
S-2T Airtankers are Gearing Up for the Wildfire Year

Preparing for peak fire activity, CAL FIRE Aviation Program conducts annual recurrent training for pilots & crews at CAL FIRE Amador El Dorado Unit McClellan Reload Base.
Forest Health Grants at Work 

In the latest look at CAL FIRE Forest Health grants at work, the San Mateo Mercury News highlights the work of the San Mateo Resource Conservation District in an area affected by the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fire.

Shavawn Johnson – Fire Captain Paramedic

Shavawn shares her story and inspiration as a San Diego Unit Paramedic.
Join Us, We’re Hiring Defensible Space Inspectors  

Help local communities prepare for wildfire and become defensible space inspector. CAL FIRE is recruiting to fill temporary Forestry Aide (Defensible Space Inspector) positions across the state. Primary duties of these positions include the performance of defensible space inspections and interacting with the public to provide fire prevention information. 

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