Cal Fire readies staff in wake of dry conditions - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cal Fire readies staff in wake of dry conditions

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Due to stubbornly dry conditions that have increased the frequency of wildfires across the state, Cal Fire plans to maximize its staffing Monday in San Diego County and other areas to the north, several months earlier than usual, the agency announced Friday.

"Even with rain (this month), our fire activity has remained 200 percent over average statewide," Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said. "The rain has been great, but it has not been enough to make up for our dry winter and California's drought."

The annual workforce increases in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties will allow the agency to staff its stations around the clock.

So far this year, Cal Fire has responded to more than 800 wildfires. In an average year for the same time period, its personnel would typically fight fewer than 275 wildland blazes, officials said.

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