CA Gov. Gavin Newsom increases firefighting support as fire season begins

Cal Fire
Bob Dass/Creative Commons
In preparation for California's fire season, the state is increasing its firefighting capabilities, as well as implementing initiatives to ensure health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced increased support for firefighting Thursday, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of fire season.

The state of California will hire more than 850 additional firefighters and six additional California Conservation Corps crews through October because of the increased demands from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Newsom’s press release.

In response to the pandemic, Cal Fire also adjusted firefighting operations to mitigate COVID-19 spread, including operating virtually for meetings and having only essential staff on site.

Additionally, the California Department of Social Services and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services updated sheltering protocols to include health screenings, prepackaged meal service and cleaning staff, among other initiatives.

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the State of California hasn’t taken its eye off the threat of wildfire,” Newsom said in the press release. “California is better prepared against the threat of wildfire today than at any time in our history.

Check back for updates.

Sebastian Cahill is a deputy news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @SebastianCahil1.