I had the opportunity yesterday in Sacramento to attend the introduction of “Captain Cal” — CAL FIRE’s Fire’s new ambassador for fire safety and prevention — to the people of California.
Chief Thom Porter, the Director of California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, announced that Captain Cal’s primary mission is to help expand CAL FIRE’s educational outreach and to teach children about emergency preparedness, fire safety and prevention, safe and sane fireworks, and water safety.
Assemblymember Christy Smith, Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, pointed out that Californians need to be prepared for the “new normal” of a year-round California fire season.
Climate change, couple with population growth, has drastically increased the frequency, severity and destructiveness of wildfires. Ten of the 20 most destructive fires in California history have occurred since 2015.
In 2018 alone, more than 2 million acres of California’s forests burned. The combination of many years of drought followed by recent heavy rains means that we should expect more severe fires again this year.
Under Governor Gavin Newsom and Chief Porter, the State of California is significantly increasing it’s commitment to wildfire prevention and response, as well as education, in the face of these new conditions.
Captain Cal’s motto is “Safety starts with you!”
You can find out more about Captain Cal and fire safety at www.readyforwildfire.org.