SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Lisa Calderon (D-Whitter) presented a check to the Los Angeles County Fire Department (the Department) for $500,000. Assemblymember Calderon added the funding to the 2021 - 2022 California Budget to fight wildfires.
“Wildfires will continue to get worse. It is becoming the new normal in the fight against climate change. We must be prepared to save as many homes as we can. This fact became all too real when Spyglass homes in Whitter were severely damaged and burned to the ground”, stated Assemblymember Calderon. “Were it not for the quick work of our first responders, many more homes would have been lost.”
“We are grateful for this much needed help from Assemblymember Calderon so we can do what we do best: provide the highest level of emergency response and do whatever it takes to aggressively fight wildfires,” said acting Deputy Fire Chief Jim O’Brien.
The Department will use the money to locate two new heli-hydrants in the cities of Whittier and Diamond Bar, and retrofit eight portable dip tanks with automatic fill valves.
According to Deputy Chief O’Brien, “completing these projects are critical to ensuring the availability of tools for rapid wildfire response from our air operations fleet. These necessary resources support quick turnaround times for our helicopters to perform water drops and minimize the spread of fast moving wildfires.”
When strategically placed, dip tanks provide advantageous water sources that helicopters can use during a wildfire. This results in faster turnaround times for each aircraft as well as multiple water sources for helicopters fighting singular or multiple blazes.
“These improvements will go a long way in supporting the Los Angeles County Fire Department and its Air and Wildland teams so they can protect the San Gabriel Valley and Puente Hills”, added Assemblymember Calderon. “In the last five years alone we have seen extreme heat waves, a multiyear drought, and historic wildfires. Within the last 2 years, California has experienced 5 of the 20 largest wildfires in its history, something becoming more common even in our own backyard. We saw this recently with the San Gabriel Valley fires and Puente Hills Habitat fires that affected my own neighborhood.
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