Fresno Fire Department reports an increase in fires

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The summer months bring the heat and increased fire danger.

"It's getting hot. We know the drought is devastating right now. Water is not abundant. All this dried out vegetation, it doesn't take much to spark a fire," said Captain Shane Brown from the Fresno Fire Department.

Recently, there have been several grass fires along freeways. Dried up brush is quick fuel for flames and the wind can spread embers quickly.

Last week, a large fire destroyed a vacant building in downtown Fresno.

To date, there have been more than 3,700 fires in the city.

Compared to last year, each month of 2022 except April has surpassed 2021 fire numbers. In May of this year, there were 787 fires in Fresno.

Fire officials believe this month is on track to tie or surpass last June.

"It's not just one type of fire. We're seeing an increase in structure fires, vegetation fires, outside-type fires," said Brown.

The fire department and the city of Fresno are working to keep up with the rise in fires citywide.

More than 60 firefighters have been hired since last year, allowing for better round-the-clock staffing.

Fresno Fire is hoping a federal grant will help fund another fire academy in the Fall, which could add up to 2 dozen more firefighters.
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