Fresno Fire seeing increase in calls in 2022

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fire calls are up significantly across the city.

Officials with the department say fires have become more frequent and widespread and with the summer months approaching, there is cause for concern.

According to Fresno Fire, fires within the city are up nearly 22% compared to this time last year.

"We have been seeing a year over year increase in fire calls here in the city of Fresno," says Fresno Fire spokesperson Jonathan Lopez.

It's not just structure fires that have officials concerned -- calls for brush and other outdoor fires are also up in 2022.

With the warmer months approaching, officials are reminding residents to be on the lookout for overgrown vegetation or anything that raises fire concerns in their neighborhoods.

"We're trying to get people to keep their properties maintained, especially property owners who have weeds and grass over 10 inches," Lopez said. "We want to make sure that gets cut down to bare minimum soil if possible."

Before 2020, the department never recorded more than 500 fire calls a month, but officials now say it's become the norm.

The department is considered one of the busiest in the state, but now it is getting a staffing boost. 20 more firefighters were recently hired to help with daily service calls.

"Which is a great thing because for a long time, the staffing level in Fresno remain flat while the population grew exponentially," he said.

The minimum daily staffing has now increased from 81 on-duty firefighters to 88 with plans to increase that number to 95 by the end of the month.

"This won't prevent fires from occurring, but it will help our firefighters to put them out in a more timely fashion and to make sure they don't get as fatigued as they normally would," Lopez said.

If you notice a property that is not being maintained and has the potential for a fire hazard, you can report it by using the Fres-Go app or by calling 311.
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