CA Firefighters: 'There's Nowhere Else in the Nation That Burns Like California'
- And more than a dozenfires are consuming
tens of thousands of acresthroughout the Golden State.
As Heather Sells reports,fighting fires has
now become a full-time job in California.
And what was known as "fireseason," no longer exists.
- California firefightershave a new normal.
It's focusing on the fire risk year-round
and not just during fire season.
- I think we're very prepared,but there's nowhere else
in the nation that burns like California.
- [Heather] The Golden Statehas become the burning state,
ground zero for wildfires.
Insurance estimates show halfof the more than four million
U. S. homes at high orextreme risk of wildfire
are in California.
And wildfires are gettingworse in both size and scope.
What's driving it?
For starters, California's vegetation,
plus cool, moist wintersfollowed by longer, hotter,
and drier summers.
It's a recipe forworld-class fire conditions.
An extended drought combinedwith bark beetle infestation
has killed off 129 million trees.
Those dead, dry trees representan instant fire hazard.
Fire officials say manycommunities can go up in minutes.
Just last October, firesin the wine country
that destroyed thousands ofhomes and killed 15 people,
were started mainly by treesfalling on power lines.
Cal Fire wants the public,even those in urban areas
to be aware and ready toevacuate when conditions warrant.
- When the firefighters arespending the first 12 hours
going in and just evacuatingpeople and not fighting fire,
that should be a clueto the public that hey,
the fire serviceprofessionals can't even start
fighting fire because they needto people out of harm's way.
That's how bad it is right now.
- [Heather] Homeowners canalso take simple steps,
like clearing brush from theirhomes, not only to protect
their own property, buttheir communities as well.
Reporting in Sacramento,Heather Sells, CBN News.