This Emergency Fund authorization includes a surge of 1,256 seasonal firefighters for maximum flexibility through June 30, 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.
Further, the state will onboard 24 seasonal firefighters for California National Guard hand crews who support CAL FIRE’s fuels management work.
The funding will also provide 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 includes the orientation and operations of the new S-70i helicopter to operate from four CAL FIRE helitack bases. Improved technology to support incident base camp operations, including website traffic management, will improve transparency and accuracy of information for the public.