Cal Fire crews gear up for what could be a grim fire season

Firefighters are in preparedness mode adding new equipment and more staffing to combat the wild fire threat.There simply hasn’t been enough rainfall and the rain that fell earlier in the year just added to the potential fire threat.The CZU Lightning Complex fires two years ago, are still on the minds of many like Felton resident Carolyn Eckert.”Having gone through one fire, the camp fire, we lost a home up there and we almost lost our home in Felton, two years ago, so it’s always in the back of our minds,” said Eckert. In a report to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors this week, Cal Fire said they anticipate a grim fire season.”If the last couple of years are any indicator of what this year will look like, I think we are in for a long fire season,” said Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit Chief, Nate Armstrong.The Central Coast has seen smaller fires break out over the last couple of weeks. Fire crews have contained them quickly, but fires sparked by lightning remain a big concern.Dry lightning is what sparked the CZU Lightning fire.”They’re sharing that that can continue through the month of July so there could be opportunity when there could be maybe lightning dry in the area,” said Armstrong.Equipment and financial donations began immediately flowing in from around the world to the Ben Lomond Volunteer Fire Department after the CZU Fire.They received more than $1.5 million in donations which was used to purchase a fire truck.”We had donations from Israel, Australia. We actually had the Israeli General Counsel come here in person and gave us some donations; some radios and equipment that was much needed. It’s in use today,” said Dan Arndt, Ben Lomond Fire Captain.Cal Fire is also in the process of acquiring more fire engines.Curtain burners, equipment that looks like dumpsters are being used to burn vegetation that has been cleared and five new water tanks that hold up to 35,000 gallons of water are located in hard to reach areas. Fire Safe Councils are also doing their part out in the community.”We’ll send trained people out upon request to look over your property and give you recommendations about what you should do,” said Joe Christy, Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council President and Vice President of Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County.The Ben Lomond Fire Department is scheduled to receive its new truck in about two weeks.

Firefighters are in preparedness mode adding new equipment and more staffing to combat the wild fire threat.

There simply hasn’t been enough rainfall and the rain that fell earlier in the year just added to the potential fire threat.

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The CZU Lightning Complex fires two years ago, are still on the minds of many like Felton resident Carolyn Eckert.

“Having gone through one fire, the camp fire, we lost a home up there and we almost lost our home in Felton, two years ago, so it’s always in the back of our minds,” said Eckert.

In a report to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors this week, Cal Fire said they anticipate a grim fire season.

“If the last couple of years are any indicator of what this year will look like, I think we are in for a long fire season,” said Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit Chief, Nate Armstrong.

The Central Coast has seen smaller fires break out over the last couple of weeks. Fire crews have contained them quickly, but fires sparked by lightning remain a big concern.

Dry lightning is what sparked the CZU Lightning fire.

“They’re sharing that that can continue through the month of July so there could be opportunity when there could be maybe lightning dry in the area,” said Armstrong.

Equipment and financial donations began immediately flowing in from around the world to the Ben Lomond Volunteer Fire Department after the CZU Fire.

They received more than $1.5 million in donations which was used to purchase a fire truck.

“We had donations from Israel, Australia. We actually had the Israeli General Counsel come here in person and gave us some donations; some radios and equipment that was much needed. It’s in use today,” said Dan Arndt, Ben Lomond Fire Captain.

Cal Fire is also in the process of acquiring more fire engines.

Curtain burners, equipment that looks like dumpsters are being used to burn vegetation that has been cleared and five new water tanks that hold up to 35,000 gallons of water are located in hard to reach areas.

Fire Safe Councils are also doing their part out in the community.

“We’ll send trained people out upon request to look over your property and give you recommendations about what you should do,” said Joe Christy, Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council President and Vice President of Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County.

The Ben Lomond Fire Department is scheduled to receive its new truck in about two weeks.

Contributed by local news sources

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