US departments urged to become year-round wildfire agencies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s U.S. senators and 21 representatives asked the departments of Agriculture and Interior to transition their agencies to a year-round wildland workforce because conflagrations are no longer limited to traditional fire

California Wildfires

FILE – In this Dec. 3, 2020 file photo Firefighters battling the Bond Fire in Orange County, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

seasons.

The move would require reclassifying more seasonal federal firefighter positions as permanent.

The letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says California and the West are entering a new normal in which increasingly intense wildfires wreak havoc during a nearly year-round fire season.

Last year, more than 9,900 fires burned 4.25 million acres, killed 33 people and destroyed nearly 10,500 homes and other buildings.

Categories: California News, National & International News, Wildfires