Mar 19, 2019

CPF President Praises Gov. Newsom's Wildfire Emergency Announcement

With California’s back-to-back unprecedented wildfire years, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state wildfire emergency to address the urgency of protecting our most vulnerable communities.

California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice made the following response:

We commend Governor Newsom’s quick action to address the state’s increasing wildfire risks. In the past two years alone, catastrophic fires have produced historic levels of death and destruction. The Tubbs, Thomas, Carr, Mendocino Complex, Woolsey and Camp fires destroyed two million acres, tens of thousands of homes and caused more than 100 fatalities, including half a dozen firefighters.

Any one of these fires would have been the biggest of a firefighter’s career. Now, they are the “new normal”.

There is no single cause of California’s fire risk, and there is no single cure. Every prevention and protection measure must be taken to prevent the spread of catastrophic fire. This includes creating and maintaining appropriate fire breaks and the removal of dry fuels that feed disasters, as outlined in the governor’s declaration.

“We also commend the governor for recognizing the magnitude of the challenge and being willing to make difficult decisions to meet it. We trust the governor to approach our fuel and forest management challenges with due diligence and respect for California’s precious resources.

Many of our most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and poor, are directly in the path of these increasing wildfires. The governor’s emergency declaration prioritizes the protection of those communities.

As firefighters, we stand ready to protect the communities we serve when disaster strikes and that includes wildfire prevention. We thank Governor Newsom for prioritizing the response to wildfire risks with his emergency declaration and look forward to working with him to keep our most vulnerable communities safe.