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Cal Fire Hiring Seasonal Firefighters, Busy Season Expected

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A firefighter uses a hose to douse the flames of the Rim Fire on August 24, 2013 near Groveland, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 5 percent contained.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A firefighter uses a hose to douse the flames of the Rim Fire on August 24, 2013 near Groveland, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Mike Colgan, who has worked in Bay Area radio for more than 40 year...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS)— Cal Fire announced they’re hiring more seasonal firefighters in response to the state having already seen three times as many wild fires this year than normal.

With the lack of rain this winter, the agency said it’s important for homeowners in rural areas to create a defensible space around their property and that the number of wildfires is likely to increase as we approach the summer months.

Spokesman Daniel Berlant said that over 900 wildfires have charred nearly 2,400 acres. He said all indications point to a busy fire season.

“That’s much higher than it should be for this time of year. In fact, in a normal year for this point in time, we would have responded to under 300 fires that altogether would have charred about 1,000 acres,” he said.

Cal Fire Hiring Seasonal Firefighters, Busy Season Expected

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In a major wild-land fire with numerous structures threatened, Cal Fire said they have to prioritize which homes they can save.

“If our crews are responding to a fire and they’re going to do structure defense to protect a home, they’re going to pick the house that has the best defensible space where they can successfully and safely make a stand against that fire,” he said.

According to Cal Fire’s website, hiring for the 2015 fire season typically begins in November and the original application deadline for the current fire season was January 31, 2014.

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