According to NBC News, wildfires have charred and demolished more than 4 million acres across California last year. Thickened smoke polluted the air for weeks on end. Because of it, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) is planning for what is to come in the months ahead.
So far, the state had 2,436 fires through May, compared to 1,554 reported around the same time last year. With nearly a thousand more to combat with half of a federal workforce, the rate of containment may lessen significantly. The inability to staff more than 5,000 “forestry technicians” has been an ongoing issue for quite some time.
Former firefighters are well-aware of the dangerous risks and have transferred because of them. Aaron Humphry shared his experience working for the federal agency with NBC News. “I had to really think some things through, and, basically, I was at a breaking point,” he said.
An anonymous source also found himself leaving for similar reasons. “There was a point last summer when we had six Cal Fire teams assigned to five federal incidents,” he said to an NBC reporter. “Unfortunately, the Forest Service is going to continue to lose staffing…”
When wildfires happen, Cal Fire must call upon neighboring national forest and state agencies to help. As fires happen more often and increase in intensity, there may be more devastating outcomes.
The Conditions Are Worsening – What Should You Do When a Wildfire Approaches?
We are nearing extreme fire season, which means fire accident attorneys will see spikes in burn injury cases. You must know what to do when you get warned about a wildfire nearby.
At that moment, your first instinct may be to pack up, grab more than the essentials and prized possessions. We strongly advise you not to do that. Instead, follow all evacuation orders and leave the premises. You should only pack if you have time and the fires are far enough away that they are not threatening your safety. Read on for a list of things you can do to help minimize the damage of your home and the chances of getting hurt and losing loved ones.
- Listen to emergency officials – precisely follow all instructions.
- Report fires if you see them – distant fires are called “hot spots.” If you see one, call 911.
- Turn off the gas – whether it is propane or natural, turn them off.
- Check the vents – residential homeowners can purchase “special” fire prevention vents. They can resist flames and protect your home from complete damage.
- Turn on the lights – if thick smoke decreased visibility in the neighborhood, turn on all interior and exterior lights to flag emergency services.
- Wet down your property – lawn sprinklers are a great tool. Wet the road, the area near the fuel tank, and plants that are within 15 ft. of your home.
- Check for embers – Small embers can start ablaze. Keep watch of your roof and attack.
Not all wildfires happen naturally. When damage gets caused by human error or negligence, our personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles will demonstrate that the responsible party failed to exercise a duty of care.