The following is a press release from the Governor's Press Office.
Wildfires are a natural, periodic occurrence in California. Many native species depend on cyclical fires for survival. Unfortunately, this natural process often conflicts with human land use, and careless or malicious human activity causes many fires that would not have occurred naturally. In order to continue to enjoy the economic and recreational benefits of our wilderness lands, we must strive to achieve a balance between California’s fire ecology and the need to protect human life and property.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) responds to thousands of wildfires each year. In an average year, wildfires burn 900,000 acres of California’s timber and grasslands. In 2007, one of the most severe fire years in state history, nearly 4,000 homes and numerous lives were lost. Without the bravery and professionalism of our CAL FIRE crews, the losses would have been even greater.
But firefighting alone cannot protect us, and every citizen, especially those living in fire-prone areas, has an important role in preventing loss of life and property from wildfire events. This week, we should all do our part to raise public awareness of the coming fire season and take steps to protect lives, homes and families in the event of a wildfire.
In conjunction with Wildfire Awareness Week, CAL FIRE has launched a campaign to educate homeowners on the steps they should take to prepare themselves for wildfire. This potentially lifesaving information can be found at www.ReadyForWildfire.org.
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 6-12, 2012 as “Wildfire Awareness Week.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 3rd day of May 2012.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California