wildfire safety


Last year's wildfire season set records for death and destruction in California. Bob Moffitt with Capital Public Radio reports on the state's preparations for the 2019 fire season.

Cal Fire has a list of 35 projects it hopes to complete in advance of the coming fire season. Many are along what firefighters call the wildland urban interface.

Thom Porter is the new director of Cal Fire and says conditions are changing rapidly at lower levels.


Fire season this year in California is expected to be more active than average.  Experts with the National Interagency Fire Center say the state's wet winter is to blame.  If it seems like the annual forecast is always for a bad fire season — Capital Public Radio's Randol White says ... you're right!

Each May the predictions start rolling in: Californians need to brace for another tougher-than-average fire year.


California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency on wildfires today [Friday]. Capital Public Radio's Ezra David Romero reports.

Newsom made the declaration in Lake County, which has been devastated by recent wildfires. The executive order expedites forest-thinning projects that could help protect 200 communities in fire prone parts of the state.

Some environmental groups applaud the decision. Jay Ziegler is with The Nature Conservancy.

KNBC Los Angeles

2018 saw massive wildfires across California, from the Camp Fire in Butte County, to the Holy Fire in Riverside County.  With these wildfires becoming the new normal, are San Bernardino mountain communities - particulalry the Rim of the World communities - at risk?  KVCR's Benjamin Purper reports.

In November, President Trump suggested that California start raking its forest floors to prevent wildfires.

Well, here in the San Bernardino National Forest, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Forest Service worker: “This is called a rogue…”


Thousands of families in California are still reovering from this year's deadly wildfires.  Many face a tough decision of whether to rebuild.  And if they do, how to rebuild.  The increase in destructive wildfires has brought more attention to materials and the techniques that make buildings less likely to burn.  Marketplace's Amy Scott reports.

Californians are talking about how to clean up the state's dense forests and make them safer from wildfire.  But what does it cost to do this?  Cap[ital Public Radio's Ezra David Romero visits the Tahoe National Forest in Norther California to find out.


Pacific Gas & Eelectric customers in northern and central California could see their bills go up substantially if state regulators approve the utility's proposed rate hike.  More from KVCR's Ken Vincent.

The head of Cal Fire will retire today (Friday) after more than three decades with the agency, and he's made headlines on his way out.  Capital Public Radio's Randol White explains.


Strong and gusty Santa Ana winds ... low humidity levels and high
temperatures have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag Fire Warning today (Monday) for the Inland Empire, particularly in local mountains, adjoining foothills,
and the Coachella Valley. Northeast Santa Ana Winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour
are in the forecast ... along with 60-mile-per-hour gusts in places today. Humidity levels will
drop to between 5 and 10 percent. The Red Flag warning went into effect at 3

Mary Fran McCluskey for KVCR

Should cities and counties that approve urban sprawl help cover the cost of putting out California wildfires?  It's a question rasied by the man who leads the agency overseeing utility companies in California.  More in this report form KVCR's Ken Vincent.

Crews in California are getting a better handle on a number of large wildfires burning thoughout the state.  As Capital Public Radio's Randol White explains, in spite of the positive strides, it's still a very dangerous situation.

A panel of experts on forest and fire management testified for hours yesterday (Tuesday 8/14) at a hearing in Sacramento with little to show for it.  Capital Public Radio's Ezra David Romero reports on the fourth such meeting of its kind.

Several Riverside County hiking trails that have been closed because of wildfire danger will be reopening today {Thursday).  More from KVCR's Ken Vincent.

Crews on the lines of the enormous  Thomas Fire hope ti take advantage of a two-day window of calmer winds before the gusts increase again at mid-week. KVCR's Rick Dulock shares this story released today by the Associated Press.

Ed Sherman for CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Dept.

As of last report at 8:30am this morning (Monday), the so-called Palmer Fire - burning in the San Timoteo Badlands between Calimesa and Moreno Valley since Saturday - was 50 percent contained at 3,800 acres.  Firefighters were hoping to complete the containment line today, as KVCR's Ken Vincent reports.

Fire Fees for Rural Areas Eliminated

Jul 31, 2017

Rural California property owners now have one less bill to pay. And its one that they've been reposnsible for for the last six years. The Cap-And-Trade deal signed last week by Governor Jerry Brown ends a $150 a year fire protection fee.  Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio reports.


A group of juveniles playing with fire torched a blaze that scorched 10 acres of brush in Moreno Valley yesterday (Tuesday).  More from KVCR's Ken Vincent.


A fire erupted yesterday (Thursday) in the Santa Ana River bottom in Riverside, scorching 30 acres and spreading into a Jurupa Valley golf course by the time crews began attempting to encircle it.  More from KVCR's Ken Vincent.


A report in this week's San Bernardino Sun focused on how the heavy rains of this past winter that helped end the California drought could now increase the risk of wildfires in Southern California.  More from KVCR's Ken Vincent.

CalFire San Diego

A brush fire in San Diego County near Interstate 15 at Gopher Canyon Road north of Escondido has slowed traffic for miles - both yesterday and today - on the 15 southbound between Rainbow Valley Blvd. and Gopher Canyon Road, which is northeast of Vista.  KVCR's Ken Vincent has more.


The cost of fighting wildfires continues to grow and it's putting a strain on the U.S. Forest Service.  Capital Public Radio's Ja'Nel Johnson has an update.


Over the past few months, thousands of firefighters have been battling up to half-a-dozen big fires burning  across California.  When a major fire breaks out, Cal Fire scrambles an operating base known as fie camp.  It's a place to shower, get a hot meal, and some r & r before heading back out on the line.  Capital Public Radio's Julia Mitric visited the Clayton Fire camp in Lake County, and she brings us this postcard.


Proposed legislation making its way to the governor's desk in Utah could provide a framework for regulating aerial drones here in California.  KVCR's Matt Guilhem reports the Utah bill could help firefighters get a handle on a growing problem here in the Golden State.


Firefighters continue to battle two wildfires burning perilously close to one another in the San Gabriel Mountains northwest of the Inland Empire.  As of midday Tuesday, the Fish Fire had burned 3000 acres in the Angeles National Forest near the communities of Duarte and Bradbury, where some home evacuations have been ordered.  A few miles across a dry canyon to the east of the Fish Fire, the Reservoir Fire has charred 2400 acres near the Morris Reservoir in the dry, brushy hills above Azusa.  Separated by a canyon through which Highway 39 winds, officials are concerned the two blazes coul

IE Firefighters Prepare For The Worst This Fire Season

Jun 21, 2016
San Bernardino County Fire's Facebook

Inland Empire firefighters are preparing for a rough summer. Currently 48 new recruits are being trained to battle the blaze of perhaps one of the driest seasons. San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief Michael Wakoski is especially worried this year with good reason. 

"The El Nino did not develop down here in Southern California like it should have or was predicted to. That's ok, but is a lot dryer down here in Southern California right now. We're starting to get fires a little earlier. Normally we don't get them until the end of July."

Scientists Warn Of California "Mega-Fires"

Sep 18, 2015

Some of the large, intense wildfires in California may be the state's first "mega-fires."  As Capital Public Radio's Amy Quinton reports, scientists say mega-fires aren't just defined by their size.

Fire Officials Say Don't Wait To Evacuate

Sep 15, 2015

California fire officials are warning people not to delay evacuating from wildfire areas if they are told to leave. Capital Public Radio's Katie Orr reports on the warning issued this week.

California Highway Patrol

A weekend brush fire in the San Bernardino foothills that halted traffic for a time on one of the main routes between the Inland Valleys and communities in the San Bernardino Mountains was quickly contained before causing much damage.  KVCR's Ken Vincent has more.


Hobby drones have repeatedly hindered firefighting efforts this year.  But as Capital Public Radio's Amy Quinton reports, the Desert Research Institute in Reno is launching a project to see how unmanned aircraft systems might improve wildfire management and safety.


Firefighters are still working to contain a wildfire that started yesterday [Monday] evening and quickly burned several hundred acres of brush and chaparral in the Riverside County community of Anza, located near Highway 74 in the mountains between Temecula and Palm Desert.  KVCR's Ken Vincent read this item on the air early this morning.