SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — Last year more than 4 million acres were burned due to wildfires throughout the state, making 2020, California's largest wildfire season in history. This year isn't looking much better, so on Tuesday Governor Gavin Newsom made an announcement to prepare for 2021.
Tuesday, Newsom announced that the state will spend nearly $80 million in emergency funds to hire nearly 1,400 firefighters in fear of another devastating wildfire season as the state faces drought conditions.
While those new hires will not join Kern County's team, both Mike Walkley with the Bakersfield Fire Department and Andrew Freeborn with the Kern County Fire Department says this is great news for the state, and the help is much needed.
Freeborn says that KCFD has sent out crew members to the deadliest, most destructive, fires in California history, and they have already started to prepare for this season.
"The firefighters are cautiously optimistic that we won't have as severe of a year as we did last year, but it would be foolish for us not to prepare for us to be as bad as it was last year, so that's what we're doing. We're preparing."
How can the community do its part?
By preparing, preparing evacuation plans, making ready-to-go bags in case we do have a fire, removing dry or dead plants around your house, and of course, staying up to date with the latest fire updates whether on social media or the news.