Firefighters worried about upcoming fire season

REDDING, Calif. - Despite the recent storms over the Northstate, the lack of overall rain has firefighters worried about the upcoming fire season.

To date, we've only received around half the rain we normally see.

"Obviously we're in a drought. We have rain this week. That's been nice, however, we're still very far behind," said Shasta County Fire Chief Mike Hebrard. "And as far as rain numbers in a week's time, it will start to dry out, and we'll start getting control burn escapes and small fires again."

Hebrard made his annual report to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

He said his department had 805 more reported incidents in 2013 than in 2012. Unfortunately, he expects the same kind of increase this year.

"We are very concerned about what the fire season will bring" Hebrard said.

There are three state engines stationed in Shasta County that normally wouldn't be on duty this early in the year. There is also a boost in personnel during fire season: 6 of 19 CAL FIRE engines will have four-person staffing rather than three-person staffing.

There are around 200 volunteer firefighters in the county, but Hebrard said he can always use more.

"It's due to basically the economy. People still have to work and feed their families first before they can volunteer," Hebrard said. "And then, there's quite a bit of requirements to be a volunteer as far as the training."

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