California fire officials reminding public to stay prepared

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California's Wildfire Preparedness Week kicks off the first week of May and as we have faced historic wildfires in 2020 and 2021, fire officials are reminding people to be proactive and prepare.

They suggest using this week to make your family's fire escape plan.

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"The fires we are now responding to are much larger in size, higher in numbers and greater in complexity," says Dean Gould with the US Forest Service.

The state's largest and most damaging wildfires broke out in 2020 and 2021, scorching more than 6.8 million acres.

"Approximately 95% of all wildfires in California are human-caused, which means they can be prevented," says CAL FIRE Fresno King Unit Fire Chief Dustin Hail.

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US forest officials also explained how they plan to increase attacks on wildfires, from the ground and air.

"We are very aggressively pursuing to fill additional fire fighting positions," Gould said. "In fact, we are just wrapping up our spring fire hire event right now. We are going to be using increased utilization of technology, including drone utilization."

SoCal Edison is already taking preventative measures, performing prescribed burns earlier in the day. Fresno County supervisors addressed how these burns are beneficial.

"They used these fire breaks and properly managed forest areas as anchor points to push the fire around Shaver Lake and save it," says Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig.

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