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California to add nearly 1,400 firefighters amid dry weather

California Wildfires
Posted at 8:50 AM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 11:50:49-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state will hire nearly 1,400 more firefighters.

Newsom says the firefighters are needed following a dry winter that is stoking fears of another devastating wildfire season. Last year, wildfires burned more than 4% of California's land, destroying nearly 10,500 buildings and killing 33 people.

Tuesday, Newsom said he would use his emergency authority to authorize $80.74 million to hire 1,399 mostly seasonal firefighters.

More than 19,000 firefighters battled blazes across California last year.

Most of the new firefighters will join eight fire crews at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.