US departments urged to become year-round wildfire agencies

California Wildfires
Posted at 10:09 AM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 13:09:10-04

(KERO) — California’s U.S. senators and 21 representatives asked the departments of Agriculture and Interior to transition their agencies to a year-round wildland workforce because conflagrations are no longer limited to traditional fire seasons.

The move would require reclassifying more seasonal federal firefighter positions as permanent.

The letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says California and the West are entering a new normal in which increasingly intense wildfires wreak havoc during a nearly year-round fire season.

Last year, more than 9,900 fires burned 4.25 million acres, killed 33 people and destroyed nearly 10,500 homes and other buildings.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.