California wildfire situation is mixed this season

California's wildfire season is well underway.

How does it compare to years past? The answer is mixed. That's the message behind an hour-long news conference Gov. Gavin Newsom and state emergency officials gave on Wednesday. 

Let's start with the good news, according to the state's Cal Fire director and the governor. 

This year, fewer wildfires overall have started: 3,500 so far in 2024, which is below the five-year average.

Another bit of good news:- So far there have been no deaths attributed to wildfires this year.

And there have been fewer buildings and structures destroyed than in years past.

But the wildfires that have happened have burned more quickly and have consumed more acres of land, overall.

CalFire Director Joe Tyler said that's due in part to a rainy and wet spring, as well as changing and intensifying weather conditions.

Newsom touted some of the equipment Cal Fire has to fight fires, including night-hawk helicopters that can fight fires from the air, overnight - a resource the state didn't have last year. 

There are also seven C-130 aircraft that the federal government transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard to use for wildfire suppression, which Newsom thanked President Joe Biden for. 

"We were able to secure support from the White House without any hesitation, Newsom said. 

A total of seven planes will be retrofitted for firefighting use by Cal Fire to fight wildfires across the state in 2026.