California Governor Gavin Newsom held a joint press conference with key partner officials Thursday at CAL FIRE’s Grass Valley Air Strike Base in Nevada County.
The approximately 45-minute press conference will help the state of California and partner forces prepare for the upcoming wildfire season, a season predicted to be as dangerous and potentially devastating as 2017. It was intended to highlight new innovations and ongoing preparations on behalf of the
That year, the fires burned more than 1.5 million acres, resulting in 47 deaths and 11,000 building losses.
Here’s what you should know:
Forest management strategies are at the forefront
After a devastating record fire season, including two of the worst on record in the past four years, California has been heavily criticized for decades of forest mismanagement, including the lack of regular burning practices. rice field.
According to Governor Newsom, that is now changing.
California has actively managed more of the forests and wilderness that exist here in partnership with the federal government and private landowners, who own 58% and 40%, respectively, of the state’s forests.
Newsom said the deal with the federal government doubled the number of aces the administration controls. The governor also said $20 million in funds has been allocated for personal liability insurance for landlords who have suffered stipulated burns.
“We are doing more than ever before,” Newsom said.
The largest fleet will get bigger and more advanced
CAL FIRE is the largest world aviation fire brigadeMore than 60 fixed-wing aircraft, according to CAL FIRE.
Not only are the states planning to increase that amount, but the aircraft are now much improved as well.
CAL FIRE utilizes Sikorsky S70i Firehawks, uses the same framework as the iconic Black Hawk helicopter deployed by the US military in conflict and disaster zones around the world. Twelve were purchased in 2018, and today Governor Newsom said the total would rise to 16 “very soon.”
According to CAL FIRE Helicopter Program Chief Pilot Ben Berman, the helicopter can carry a 1,000-gallon external tank, increasing fire-fighting capacity by 300%.
The Firehawk is equipped with night vision goggles and can quickly dispatch wilderness firefighters to remote areas. These are “totally game-changers,” Berman said.
Three air tankers capable of transporting up to 4,000 gallons of flame retardant have also been added to the fleet. Tankers are strategically pre-positioned throughout the state.
The future of firefighting
It’s not just helicopters that are evolving.
Firefighting agencies currently utilize an integrated program called FIRIS. Firefighting integrated real-time intelligence systemwhich takes data from various sources and provides it to firefighters. The most comprehensive look at new fires — All in real time.
This includes forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) cameras on board aircraft, nearly 1,000 mountaintop cameras installed across the state, weather sensors, and automated vehicle location and computer-aided dispatch technology. It is included.
All this information is provided to firefighters and support personnel to help them determine the best method of attack.
“We are modernizing our approach,” Newsom said. “We are, dare we say, meeting in the moment: addressing the essence of change: the extreme problems we are currently facing within the state.”
Satellite technology is coming to orbit near you
a A long battle with the Pentagon California’s access to military satellite technology, originally developed as an early-warning missile detection system, is believed to have given California an advantage.
Because these satellites are in geostationary orbit, they can peer over the same area without interruption, making them ideal for detecting new fires.
California had limited annual access to satellites for the first time in 2018, but the state has streamlined access to technology since the Biden administration took power in Washington, Newsom said. .
He called the technology “very successful.”
Newsom also said the state is working with the Environmental Defense Fund, a U.S.-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group, for a constellation of 50 satellites in low earth orbit that will be used to fight fires. .
circumventing environmental laws in the name of the environment
California is seen by many as being at the forefront of environmental and climate issues.
As proof of that, perhaps no law has been more upheld than the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This landmark law, enacted in 1970, requires state and local agencies to inform the public and decision-makers of the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects.
Though long considered an enduring force, it now hinders many local, regional, and statewide efforts in forest management and on behalf of communities to recover from devastating fires. .
Governor Newsom said at a press conference that he had signed a “19 to 20” executive order over the years that served as the CEQA reform bill.
Among these executive orders are two recently authorized executive orders. Fast and effective fuel management actionsas well as streamlining treatments for prescribed burns, etc. Provision of housing and fee exemption for residents evacuated due to fire.
You can read the full press conference below.
https://www.ksby.com/news/local-news/prescribed-burns-satellites-and-more-5-things-to-know-from-gov-newsoms-press-conference 5 things to know from Newsom’s press conference