North Coast Cal Fire Crews Prepare for Upcoming Wildfire Season

REDWAY (KIEM) – In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in wildfires all across the state.

Just last year alone, more than 7500 wildfires broke out across California. As this year’s peak fire season approaches, Cal Fire is training to combat future infernos.

Rain or shine, Cal Fire crews from Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino are training for the approaching wildfire season.

“Our camps train year around, the three camps train in Humboldt, Del Norte,” said Alder Camp Assistant Chief David Esteves, “Alder from the north, High Rock, and Eel River.”

Last year, California experienced a destructive wildfire run. One of the most devastating was the Camp Fire.

“We’ve seen extreme fire behavior and I think a lot of it, is to do with the fuels and the weather,” says Esteves.

“The wind, and the fuels, everything is getting hotter and drier. It’s finally caught up to us.”

The Camp Fire burned over 150,000 acres, destroying thousands of buildings. To prevent another deadly season, Cal Fire trains their crews up and down the North Coast.

“For firefighters, we want all of our skills to be second nature, and the more we drill and the more we train, it becomes that,” said Esteves.

One of their teams is boots on the ground.

 “We have to know each other and we have to work together and it takes all of us to respond to incidents, it can’t just be one agency,” said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Tricia Austin.

They test their knowledge of tools, physical abilities and their fire preparedness, all part of Cal Fire’s overall mission.

“Our goal and mission, is to keep 90% of our fires to ten acres or less,” said Estevez.

Cal Fire says, residents should also take extra steps to be ready for any natural disaster.

If you to want learn more about wildfire readiness, you can visit the website fire.ca.gov. Cal Fire also has an app called ready for wildfire, which walks you through how to prepare an emergency kit and how to create a plan with your family.