While fire officials remind Southern California residents that “Fire Season” is a 12-month period, nevertheless, spring typically escorts in a greater awareness of wildfire threats.
Already this year, Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service are preparing for whatever may occur.
Riverside County Fire Mountain Division Chief Bill Weiser said transitional staffing begins next week.
“An additional engine will be staffed at Station 53 [Garner Valley],” Weiser said. “That will be a Cal Fire engine.”
By the middle of May, more peak staffing will be assigned to the Hill, including another Cal Fire engine at Station 23 [Pine Cove]. For the summer and fall, RCFD will have 16 Type 3 engines available for this area.
“We’ll be fully staffed by May 20,” Weiser said.
The Forest Service has been reviewing summer hire resumes and expects summer temporary staffing to be available by the middle of May, according to Dan Felix, San Jacinto Ranger District fire officer.
The Vista Grande Hotshots and other engine crews will be fully available by early June following their mandatory training. At that time, all seven district fire stations will be staffed.
The Forest Service’s helicopter stationed at Keenwild Helibase will be available the week of May 18, Felix added.
The Hemet-Ryan Air Base also is adding air tankers and helicopter resources.
While the fire agencies are preparing to control and eliminate fires, residents and visitors can do the most to help prevent or mitigate fire potential.
“I’d like to see everybody provide clearance around their structures,” Weiser said. “Be fire wise.”