On Friday, with numerous wildfires burning thousands of acres in Northern California, Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed “… a state of emergency in California due the wildfires burning throughout the state.”
The declaration mobilizes the California National Guard for disaster response and relief efforts. Also, all state agencies will be available, if necessary, to support the Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan.
“The Governor’s state of emergency declaration helps us mobilize additional resources to combat the current wildfires being driven by drought-parched vegetation across the state,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director. “The declaration allows us to access resources from other states that will help free up our equipment for new fires, which is critical. To give you an idea of just how critical, on the day the 60,000-acre Rocky fire started, Cal Fire extinguished nearly 40 other fires and kept them from becoming large fires.”
In January 2014, Brown had declared a state of emergency because of the drought. Nearly 18 months later, with fire burning throughout the state, Brown took this step.
Already the state has sought some federal assistance for specific fires such as the Wragg Fire and North Fire, which was in San Bernardino County.
With more conflagrations simultaneously, Browns highlighted that the State’s resources have been significantly committed. Consequently additional federal aid will be requested as well as seeking the assistance and resources of other states.
The magnitude of these wildfires is or will likely be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat.