WHEREAS, forty-five percent of California is experiencing extreme or severe fire danger conditions creating one of the most dangerous fire seasons in years; and

WHEREAS, the combination of extreme weather and fuel conditions significantly increases the risk of catastrophic wildfires, including larger, more intense and destructive wildfires than in previous years; and

WHEREAS, Northern California has already experienced 790 wildfire starts in 2001 - a 69 percent increase in wildfire starts over last year, and the number of acres burned statewide has more than tripled since last year; and

WHEREAS, the increased risk of catastrophic wildfires throughout the state threatens the health, safety and economic well-being of the people of the State; and

WHEREAS, the potential increase in the number of large and damaging wildfires in California will require additional fire suppression efforts and resources to reduce the risk of wildfire and consequent loss of life, and economic and environmental damage to the state; and

WHEREAS, all Californians play a crucial role in preventing and reducing the risk of wildfire in their communities and are a critical component of the state's fire fighting resources; and

WHEREAS, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) has already taken significant actions in anticipation of the increased fire danger, including declaring fire season early, suspending door-yard burning, deploying the maximum number of staff and accelerating maintenance of all firefighting aircraft and equipment;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GRAY DAVIS, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this order to become effective immediately:

IT IS ORDERED that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) shall secure and deploy additional resources as needed to prevent and reduce losses to the State from wildfires including taking the following actions for the duration of the 2001 fire season:

  • Assign a minimum crew of four firefighters to 180 fire engines, beginning in regions experiencing extreme and severe fire danger;
  • Re-open previously closed lookout towers with 24-hour staffing;
  • Immediately secure by lease a Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) aircraft enabling CDF to employ state-of-the-art fire fighting;
  • Recruit captains and support staff to activate an additional five conservation camp crews;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that CDF accelerate Fire Safe Clearance Inspections by placing every second fire engine on LA38 inspections when not on a fire.

that the California National Guard prepare its fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and pre-position ground support equipment as appropriate for immediate response to major wildfire incidents and report to OES on a weekly basis the available status of all aircraft.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the California Department of Corrections (CDC) and the California Youth Authority (CYA) place the highest priority for assignment of level one inmates and wards to the staffing of Conservation Camp Fire Crews.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the California Conservation Corps (CCC) report to CDF on a daily basis the available status of all CCC crews for response to wildfires.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) conduct a review of appropriate state departments to assure preparedness for response to, and suppression of wildfires.

that CDF and OES work closely with federal, state and local government agencies, bordering states, and the government of Mexico to maximize California's fire prevention and fighting capabilities.

that as soon as hereafter possible, this order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this order.