Surge in New Firefighters as Wildfire Season Begins

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On July 1st, 18 new firefighters will join a growing force in the North Bay ready to jump on any new blaze before it gets out of hand.

The new group will be part of the recently formed Sonoma County Fire District, that was formed by combining the Windsor, Rincon Valley, Bennett Valley and Mountain Districts.

The fire district will now have an expanded crew of 50 firefighters to respond to any incidents in the areas surrounding Santa Rosa.

Even as this group comes on board, many other fire districts and agencies across Northern California are adding to their ranks to prepare for an expected busy fire season.

The surge in hiring is being fueled by money approved by voters last fall for three fire agencies, as well as allocations approved by Sonoma County Supervisors to bolster regional fire districts.

The upcoming fire season follows several years of record setting blazes that have stretched state and county resources and convinced the public to allocate more funds for fire protection.

Hiring is currently taking place, or planned from Monte Rio to Cloverdale, to Bodega Bay and Santa Rosa.

In addition, Cal Fire has hired more than 60 seasonal firefighters to bolster it’s Sonoma County fire outposts, with more hiring planned.

Even PG&E is adding firefighters this spring, planning for around 50 full time company workers to head out with utility crews to work on fire prevention, and identify problem areas before a fire is sparked.

All of this is part of a recent up tick in firefighting recruitment across the state, as agencies grapple with the growing threat of big, catastrophic blazes and years of stagnant hiring.



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