The overall number of acres burned by wildfires in the U.S. is closer to normal so far this year. In California, however, the "new normal" includes larger and more frequent wildfires. Capital Public Radio's Ed Joyce filed this story.
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.
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."