Cal OES Tours State, Reminds Californians Importance of Being Ready for Wildfire 


California experiences a variety of devastating disasters, including wildfires, and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages all Californians to take proactive steps to be prepared. 

In collaboration with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Cal OES toured the state during Wildfire Preparedness Week (May 1-7) to talk about the challenges California faces when it comes to wildfire and steps individuals and families can take to be better prepared. 

Wildfire Preparedness Week stops included: 

  • San Bernardino County 
  • Santa Barbara County
  • Merced County 
  • Amador County 
  • Shasta County 

During each stop, local, state and federal partners spoke on county-specific work being done to better protect vulnerable communities from wildfire.  

Cal OES personnel spoke at each event, emphasizing the importance of preparing for wildfire before the next event takes place. 

“As I often mention, it’s too late when there’s smoke in the air,” said Brian Marshall, Fire and Rescue Chief at Cal OES. 

Taking steps now can reduce the stress caused by an emergency. Cal OES works with our partners to ensure communities have the resources they need. 

“Our planning and preparedness branch provides guidance and toolkits for other state agencies, local governments and even communities to help with their preparedness,” said Lori Nezhura, Deputy Director for Planning, Preparedness and Prevention at Cal OES. 

We all have an important role to play when it comes to disaster preparedness. 

“It’s always important to have a go-bag with you so you’re ready to leave quickly and most importantly, don’t forget about your pets as well when you leave,” said Ryan Smith, Assistant Chief for Law Enforcement Branch at Cal OES. 

“It’s important to know a couple different ways out of your neighborhood and always heed the warnings of officials,” said Dana Ellis, Assistant Director of Response Operations North at Cal OES. 

As the state continues to recognize May as Wildfire Awareness Month, Cal OES is taking proactive steps to keep Californians safe. 

“Cal OES will continue to work with local, state and federal partners to ensure Californians can weather another wildfire season,” said Sherri Sarro, Southern Region Assistant Director at Cal OES. 

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