Leadership Corner

Forest Service wildfire updates

November 14th, 2018 at 2:45PM

Photo: Portrait of Vicki Christiansen in front of American & Forest Service flags.
Chief Vicki Christiansen, USDA Forest Service

It has never been more apparent than now that a fire “season” is a thing of the past. The 2018 Fire Year is continuing with the fast moving and destructive wildfires in California. The Camp Fire has burned over 135,000 acres on private and federal lands in northern California, including the Plumas National Forest.  It has destroyed thousands of structures and claimed the lives of many civilians. The Woolsey and Hill fires in southern California have burned over 97,000 and 4,530 acres, respectively. The Forest Service is assisting CAL Fire to help contain both the Camp and Woolsey fires. We currently have over 600 firefighters assigned to these incidents.

Not only is the Forest Service providing firefighting assistance, but there are also 26 LEI personnel on the Camp Fire. They are assisting Butte County with a backlog of 9-1-1 calls and conducting welfare checks of citizens unaccounted for in, and between, the towns of Paradise and Magalia, California.

These fires are occurring in and near the towns where members of our Forest Service family live as well. This is the time to take care for each other, especially as we enter into the holiday season. We should all be there to support our coworkers and friends who may be experiencing the loss of loved ones or homes. The most challenging work begins after the fires are out: when we rebuild communities and protect our forest lands through Burned Area Emergency Response efforts. The Forest Service will continue our work long after the smoke has cleared.

Our agency’s most precious assets are our people. Keep each other close and cared for during this stressful time.