SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Cal Fire is getting an early start on hiring staff for the upcoming wildfire season.

The agency hopes the seasonal employees will be in place by April 1, which is a few weeks ahead of the official start of fire season in mid-April.

“Part of it is the drought. Definitely had an effect on that so we are a week or two ahead of schedule from where we would normally be,” said Jim Crawford with Cal Fire.

Cal Fire representatives expect to hire about 120 firefighters statewide.