With the changing climate and apparent lengthening of the wildland fire season in many regions around the world, we have to remind ourselves that wildfires are NOT the “new normal”. While we should be prepared at any moment for an emergency wildfire situation, it is essential that we do not become complacent about wildfires.
Why are we experiencing longer wildfire seasons? Climate change is loudly touted as a key factor, and possibly it is, but we must also consider the increase in population: more people means more homes, more structures, more accidents, and more incidents. In California alone, the population is estimated to have grown by nearly 2.5 million residents since 2010, at an annual rate of close to 0.5%, and California is ranked only 21st among the US States for growth. In fact, globally most nations are experiencing population growth, as we make medical advances and enjoy better living conditions. Unfortunately, infrastructure does not keep apace; our resources are stretched, water becomes scarce and utilities age.
As the reality of our wildfire seasons change, so too must our response. There is no doubting the continuing need for feet on the ground; dedicated and courageous firefighters to defend us from wildland fires. However, we need more: more early response to help in the critical initial phase of the fire; more 24hr resources to reinforce the ground crews, more pre-positioned fire-fighting capacity.
The Caylym Guardian Containerized Aerial Fire-Fighting System (CAFFS) is one such potential tool that can help: it enables thousand’s more available aircraft and pilots to enter the fight against wildfires, 24hrs a day, around the world, and can be pre-positioned for rapid response. Visit caylym.com for more information.