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(Left) Lake Oroville July 20, 2011
(Right) Lake Oroville January 16, 2014

(Left) Lake Oroville July 20, 2011
(Right) Lake Oroville January 16, 2014

(Left) NASA satellite image of Sierra Nevada on January 18, 2013
(Right) NASA satellite image Sierra Nevada on January 18, 2014

(Left) Folsom Lake July 20, 2011
(Right) Folsom Lake January 16, 2014

(Left) Folsom Lake March 2011
(Right) Folsom Lake January 2014

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CAL FIRE Increases Staffing in Southern California as Fire Threat Expands

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

CONTACT: Mike Mohler, (951) 377-8380
Daniel Berlant, (916) 651-FIRE (3473), on twitter @CALFIRE_PIO
RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2014

CAL FIRE Moves to Peak Staffing in Southern California
Despite Some Rain In March Fire Activity Remains High

Sacramento – Despite recent rainfall, CAL FIRE continues to respond to a significant increase in wildfires, especially in Central and Southern California where rain totals have done little to combat drought conditions. Starting Monday, March 31, CAL FIRE will move to peak staffing levels in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

“Even with rain in March, our fire activity has remained 200 percent more over average statewide,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “The rain has been great, but it has not been enough to make up for our dry winter and California’s drought.

While CAL FIRE never was able to transition out of fire season in 2013, the return to peak staffing means all equipment and facilities will be staffed around the clock. The move comes several months earlier than normal, but is needed as spring temperatures rise and dry out conditions even more.

Between January 1 and March 22, CAL FIRE has responded to over 800 wildfires that have charred nearly 2,300 acres. In an average year for the same time period, CAL FIRE would typically respond to under 275 wildfires for approximately 1,000 acres.

CAL FIRE continues to ask homeowners to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space. For more information on preparing for wildfires and defensible space visit

Visit to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought, and for more water conservation ideas, visit

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