Cal Fire investing in technology ahead of wildfire season

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

“We have Cal Fire Fire Hawk, Black Hawk helicopters. 13 of the 16 have arrived. Five of the 16 will fly 24 hours a day.”

SACRAMENTO, Calif — May is Wildfire Awareness Month and Cal Fire is bolstering their fleet ahead of peak wildfire season.

As the weather gets hotter and drier, wildfire danger will increase in California.

“Despite all the rain and snow that we’ve had this year, we must still be prepared for wildfire,” said Christina Curry, chief deputy director of operations at Cal OES. 

Cal Fire director and fire chief, Joe Tyler, said the wet weather made fuels grow, and they can become susceptible to wildfire as they dry out.

This year, Cal Fire has already responded to 576 wildfires, more than 100 of those fires were in just the last couple weeks.

Cal Fire is readying their crews for the season, investing in technology, like cameras that use artificial intelligence to detect fires.

“There have been times in which these mountain top cameras have detected fires before the first 911 caller and reported them to our emergency command center to be dispatched,” said Tyler.

Cal Fire is also adding new aircraft to their fleet, including seven C-130s from the U.S. Coast Guard that are being outfitted to drop thousands of gallons of fire retardant.

They hope to have the first C-130 flying in late 2024. There are also Black Hawk helicopters that can fly at night.

“We have Cal Fire Fire Hawk, Black Hawk helicopters. 13 of the 16 have arrived. Five of the 16 will fly 24 hours a day,” said Tyler.

While agencies have utilized state investments in wildfire fuels reduction and prevention efforts, Cal Fire said others play a part in wildfire prevention and preparedness as well.

“I need you to maintain your defensible space. I need you to have an evacuation plan ready,” said Tyler.

People should also make sure to include pets in their plan, keep a list of emergency contacts and evacuation routes, and have a “go bag” ready with essentials, like food, water, medication and important documents.

Cal Fire gives a tour of the new equipment ahead of California wildfire season

[embedded content]
author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.