By Josh Richman
Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 at 10:25 am in Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This week, in all seriousness, a public safety reminder issued last week by the governor: Leave the Fourth of July fireworks to the professionals this year, given that vast tracts of California are tinderbox-dry…
That was last Wednesday. On Friday, he issued this statement:
“Public safety is my top priority, and I want all Californians to enjoy the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, but also to celebrate it safely.
“I do not plan to order a statewide ban of fireworks, but I do encourage fire-affected counties to take a good look at their resources and take the appropriate steps at the local level, including a fireworks ban if necessary, to protect their communities and prevent any further aggravation of our state’s already severe fire situation.
“Each year, fireworks cause hundreds of fires in California, leading to millions of dollars in damages. And right now in California, we are battling hundreds of fires and facing unfavorable weather conditions that include high winds, extreme heat, and the possibility of more lighting strikes. Our firefighters are the best in the world and are working around-the-clock to address the fires currently burning in our state, so they deserve our help in preventing further fire emergencies.
“I encourage all Californians to enjoy our wonderful national holiday safely, and to use every possible precaution when using fireworks-whether you are in a fire-affected area or not.”
And this morning, the governor announced he’s ordered California National Guard soldiers to provide direct ground support to help CalFire with the current wildfire threat in Northern California.
At least 200 soldiers from Northern and Southern California units are being mobilized; the Guard will provide 10 Type II handcrews, truck transportation support, and command and control personnel in coordination with Calfire and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The Guard is also preparing to deploy eight bulldozers to assist in cutting firelines. The ground crews and bulldozers are in addition to the firefighting helicopters and other aviation support the California National Guard has deployed as part of the interagency effort to combat wildfires across the state.
Plan a safe and happy Fourth, everyone.
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