Busy wildfire season drains California resources

EMBED </>More News Videos

There are 10,000 firefighters currently gone and their empty stations being filled by fire engines from Arizona and New Mexico. (KFSN)

California has already spent more than half of its firefighting budget and we are only two months into this fiscal year. And besides money, manpower is also running low.

From the northern coastline to the southern part of the state border wildfires are popping up at an astonishing rate every week and firefighters from Fresno County among the wave of suppression.

"We're tired," Batt. Chief Matt Dunham with Cal Fire said. "It's been a long summer."

So far, there have been roughly 4,900 wildfires burning more than 417,000 thousand acres this year and firefighters said they can't stop the fires from starting but their ability to contain them is improving each season.

"Because of how explosive the wildfires are, there's been an aggressive process of getting aircraft on them quite rapidly," Lynne Tolmachoff with Cal Fire said. "Plus, utilizing the DC-10, which is our large air tanker."

There are 10,000 firefighters currently gone and their empty stations being filled by fire engines from Arizona and New Mexico. Cal Fire said countless more out-of-state equipment is at the scene of those wildfires and help that may be coming more frequently in the coming months.

"It's definitely been a very difficult year," Tolmachoff said. "But we are also just coming into what is historically our worst months which are September and October."

While this year's wet winter provided feed for ranchers and replenished water supplies it also caused more fires locally.

"The grass dries out and grass is a lot easier to ignite than compared to just a tree stand or brush," Dunham said.

With the driest and windiest two months of fire season yet to come firefighters said they are preparing themselves for the second half of what's become a year long battle.

"It just depends on mother nature, if it's a dry winter," Dunham said. "We could be doing this well until December, January."
Related Topics:
newswildfirecal firecaliforniaFresno County
(Copyright ©2016 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments
CALIFORNIA
More california

NEWS
More News

Top Stories
Show More