SAN DIEGO — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that more than $80 million will go toward hiring 1,399 additional firefighters to bolster fuel management and wildfire response efforts.
Newsom announced what his office called early emergency action as California faces another difficult wildfire year. The state said with much of California experiencing persistent drought conditions, low reservoir storage and below average snowpack, they are planning for another dry year.
The state said the emergency action will fund hiring 1,256 seasonal firefighters through June 30, 2021. The state will also onboard 24 seasonal firefighters for California National Guard hand crews who support Cal Fire’s fuel management work and 119 firefighters to staff Cal Fire helitack crews earlier in the year, to allow them time to train and be operationally ready by May 2021.
“This funding will provide fire crew and fire engine staffing, augments eight currently understaffed existing fire crews ahead of the summer, and allows the early hiring and training of fire crews for fuels management to provide twelve new Cal Fire crews, and six seasonal and six new permanent Conservation Corps crews,” Newsom’s office said.