SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday highlighted new firefighting equipment along with his proposed $2 billion investment in wildfire and emergency preparedness – the largest in state history.
The money will allow the state to take urgent action to support wildfire suppression, improve forest health and help protect residents and property from catastrophic wildfires.
Newsom landed at Cal Fire's McClellan Air Field, in one of the state's newest firefighting assets, an S-70 Firehawk, where he doubled down on wildfire defense.
The number of fires are ominous.
"Over a thousand plus more fires this year than this time last year," Newsom said.
There are 1400 additional firefighters in place to work over the summer and well into the fall.
"We actually have more firefighters on the ground going into peak season than we ever have before," said Cal Fire Director Thom Porter.
The commitment to reduce fuel loads before they can burn out of control is greater than last year.
"We now have 500 projects that we've identified, not those 35 high profile projects, 500 fuels management projects all throughout the state of California," said Newsom. And far more effective, new equipment is coming.
"The state of California has now procured seven of these C-130 aircrafts. We will have 12 of these new helicopters in our fleet by the end of next year," Newsom said. "These are an important part of our aerial firefighting fleet which is the largest in the world."
The state will also construct a wildfire prediction and surveillance center.