Could this fires season cripple California’s economy?
May 19, 2014
More than a dozen wildfires have already caused over $20 million in damage, even though it is just the beginning of a fire season that could cripple the state’s economy, Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday on ABC.
The state, which has set aside $600 million for firefighting, has approximately 5,000 firefighters currently on the job. However, that may not be enough.
“We’re getting ready for the worst,” Brown said. “And in the years to come, we’re going to have to make very expensive investments and adjust.
And the people are going to have to be careful of how they live, how they build their homes and what kind of vegetation is allowed to grow around them.
Even though fire season is just beginning, the California department of Forestry has already battled more than 1,500 blazes this year, almost double the average of about 800 fires per year.
Paso Robles Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Taylor usually doesn’t leave home until late July to assist other agencies during the fire season. Nevertheless, he was dispatched to the Los Angeles area in January and led a crew that began work near San Diego on last week.
“There hasn’t been a break,” Taylor said. “It’s almost a 12-month fire season.”