Watch CBS News

President Biden Releases Federal Funds To Aid Fire Hose Shortage In California

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Biden administration has released federal funds ordering a private contractor in Oklahoma to make more fire hoses for wildland crews as fires continue to blaze through California.

Crews battled the Bridge Fire, which sparked in Placer County on September 5, but Cal Fire was short on one essential piece of equipment.

"This last fire in Auburn, we had to order hoses," said Assistant Cal Fire Chief Steve Robinson.

Robinson said he typically relies on a fire cache reserve in Redding, an equipment warehouse ready to replenish crews at any time but the supply was out of hoses.

"The cache was out of hoses and they actually had to order hoses from a cache in Alaska," Robinson said.

It took an extra day for Bridge Fire crews to finally get what they needed.

"We can get stretched really thin," Robinson said.

The Biden Administration has answered the call.

"We used the Defense Production Act to address the shortage in fire hoses," President Biden said during an address in California this week.

NewView Oklahoma is the sole supplier of fire hoses to the US Forest Service, whose job is to order equipment for wildland firefighters across California.

"So over the life of the contract, we've manufactured over two million hoses," said NewView President and CEO Lauren Branch.

By the end of the contract, NewView expects to manufacture four thousand miles of hoses—a welcomed addition for California crews on the ground.

"The goal is to have enough in our stock to keep us in service and keep us working," Robinson said.

If fire crews do not use the extra hoses from the local reserves, they will clean and return them so they are available next fire season.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.