Fire Conditions Called "Worst In History."

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cal-Fire Director Ruben Grijalva says it’s as bad as it gets:

“The fire conditions in California right now are the worst they’ve been probably ever in the history of California that’s been recorded.”

Grijalva says they’ve hired about 700 more seasonal fire-fighters than last year.  But he says crews and supplies only go so far.  He says Cal-Fire needs to refocus its efforts on prevention:

“We can provide all the emergency response resources in the world.  You can provide all the money to buy all the equipment.  That’s not going to get rid of the problem.”

Grijalva says better land use planning – often a controversial issue - has to be part of prevention efforts.  He says the agency is also losing experienced firefighters to retirement, so there’s a heavy focus on training new crews.  Grijalva made the comments at a legislative hearing on the state’s fire preparedness.