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Cal Fire declares Wildfire Awareness Week with a deeper "Ready, Set, Go" message

CAL FIRE says Fire Defense is Self Defense

Cal Fire has declared May 7-11 as Wildfire Awareness Week. Right now, they are working on preventative tactics and they say you should be doing the same.

"Get ready and know that we are," that's Cal Fire's motto for the 2018 fire season.

Wildfires do not discriminate, that was the message from firefighters at Wednesday's press conference at the U.S.F.S. Air Attack Base in Redding.

Officials from the Cal Fire headquaters in Sacramento to Washington D.C. were present, speaking about the "new normal" of wildfires, hoping to get people to get ready now for the fires that will inevitably come later.

2017 was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season in California.

The Helena Fire in Trinity County burned 22,000 acres, 72 homes and 61 out buildings. In Shasta County, the 180-acre Lavern Fire overtook five homes and 23 out buildings. In Butte County the Cherokee and Bangor Fires burned through communities destroying homes and businesses.

Cal Fire Chief Mike Hebrard says "fire defense is self defense."

Chief Hebrard emphasizes to get ready with defensible space and hardening your home, get set with a good wildfire action plan, emergency supply kit, and a family communication plan.

"And lastly, go. When we tell you to evacuate you need to do it now. It is for your safety and it is for the safety of the firefighters. We do not want to have head-ons and people going out at the same time. So please, follow those directions of the sheriff's department."

Hebrard added Cal Fire departments are focusing their preventative measures on Shingletown, Old Shasta and the Happy Valley area, all of which, Cal Fire explained, have high potential for damaging fires and a have significant fire history.

500 defensible space inspections were done in 2017 on Northstate homes. This year 1,400 inspections have already been done and fire officials plan to tackle hundreds more.

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