COUNTY STRENGTHENS FIRE PREVENTION EFFORTS
SAN JOSE – Continuing to bolster fire prevention and mitigation efforts, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors today directed County staff to identify funding necessary to:
- Develop and implement an aerial fire detection using drones;
- Upgrade training for the County’s Central Fire District personnel; and,
- Pursue opportunities to step up “fuel reduction” efforts in the County.
In supporting these efforts, County Supervisor Joe Simitian said, “Our folks at the Fire District are working under challenging and stressful circumstances. If we can bolster their efforts with resources like a drone to increase the department’s ability to detect and identify complex fires, upgrade our wildland engine driver training and adding additional Fuels Crew team members, that’s all to the good — for our firefighters and for the safety of our community.”
In April 2022, at Simitian’s request, the Board directed County’s Central Fire Protection District to expand its Pre-Fire Management and Wildfire Resilience program, including the addition of a dedicated crew, called a Fuels Crew, to clear brush and vegetation along evacuation routes and roads. The addition of yet another Fuels Crew would allow the District to start reducing hazardous wildland fuels, which increases public safety by reducing wildfire ignitions and spread.
The Central Fire Protection District’s boundaries include the West Valley cities of Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and a portion of Saratoga, and unincorporated lands in western Santa Clara County, an area largely contained in Simitian’s District Five. “This is a plus for the entire County, but particularly for the folks I represent. I was pleased to see this proposal from my colleagues Supervisors Lee and Chavez.”
“This proposal comes at a time when the Bay Area has experienced a record-breaking heat wave, and really put our energy grid to the test,” said Simitian. “That kind of heat just aggravates the dry conditions on the ground, increasing fire risk day after day. We have to keep pushing for the resources and support that will give County Fire the best possible chance of success when fighting fires.”