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Cal Fire stays at the ready despite quiet summer fire season: "We take it as a blessing"

Cal Fire stays at the ready despite mostly quiet start to fire season
Cal Fire stays at the ready despite mostly quiet start to fire season 02:49

AUBURN — It's been an uncharacteristically quiet summer for Cal Fire, which is not a bad thing. 

"We take it as a blessing," Robert Carvalho with Cal Fire.

There is currently just one incident on the docket, which exists on federal land, 

"They're doing more in-the-field training with their captains and their engineers and working better as a team," said Steve Robinson, assistant chief for administration with Cal Fire. 

Up at the agency's Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit, morale is higher. 

"The morale is better this year just because they haven't been out as long, but they're working the same shifts. It's just, you're not away from home as much," Robinson explained. 

The unnatural calm during fire season means resources can be dispatched elsewhere. 

"I think it was two weeks ago we sent two overhead personnel or FBAN -- fire behavior analysts -- they went to Canada," Carvalho mentioned.

If you think it doesn't happen often that California can send resources to help other states, then you would be right.

"It's rare because most of the time when we get those requests, we are busy ourselves," Carvalho said. 

So who gets sent in those requests and how does it happen? 

"You have to exhaust all means before you start requesting out-of-state resources," Carvalho explained.

This year is a combination of factors: from a wet winter to a cool spring and more collaboration. 

"People are being safe out there. People aren't dragging their chains. People are using their equipment properly," Carvalho said.

It's all to keep everyone safe and the skies smoke-free this year. 

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