CALIFORNIA (KTXL) — As high temperatures persist and with fires happening on a near-daily basis Governor Gavin Newsom’s office announced on Tuesday that CAL FIRE is fully staffed and ahead of schedule for their fuel reduction project.

According to CAL FIRE, they have carried out 600 fuel reduction projects across 110,900 acres, surpassing the governor’s goal of 100,000 acres by 2025.

CAL FIRE said being fully staffed will allow stations to be open 24 hours and ready to respond to fires in a faster and more effective manner.

“Although conditions have varied geographically throughout the state, weather conditions, fuel loads, and the number of fire incidents have guided the Department’s thorough response and overall preparedness moving into the summer months,” Chief Joe Tyler, CAL FIRE Director/Fire Chief said. “Even as we ramp up our preparations for wildfires that are now occurring year-round, we continue to accelerate forest health and fire prevention projects throughout the state, launching more than 603 wildfire resilience projects from last year’s budget, ranging from fuel breaks to prescribed burns to fuel reduction.”

With additional funding CAL FIRE has been able to acquire and staff:

  • 136 engines in the northern region (an increase of 64) and 126 engines in the southern region, an increase of 16 
  • 12 exclusive-use aircraft are available statewide today, with four additional by July 1, which is on top of CAL FIRE’s existing aerial fleet of more than 62 aircraft;
  • 16 additional hand crews are operational now as a result of the budget augmentation for fire prevention and emergency response.

“California is taking aggressive action to protect communities and make our forests more resilient,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “There is much work to do, but in addition to our fire suppression efforts, we are laser-focused on scaling up investments and work to tackle this challenge head-on.”