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Cal Fire reduces staffing for fall in Madera-Mariposa-Merced unit

Thanks to the recent drop in temperatures, Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit made the move to fall staffing levels this week.

According to Nancy Koeperich, unit chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the move, made Monday, allows for the release of some seasonal firefighters and the reduction of staffing on fire engines.

Officials will continue to monitor weather and fuel conditions to determine any changes necessary, Cal Fire said in a news release. State fire engines can be staffed if weather conditions change, increasing the threat of wildfire.

In the meantime, Cal Fire reminds residents that burning remains suspended for Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties. Though the area has experienced cooler temperatures and a bit of moisture, conditions are still very dry.

Officials remind residents in wilderness areas to take advantage of the cooler weather to work on creating 100 feet of defensible space. “Remember it is essential for increasing your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire,” officials said in a news release. “It is the buffer that homeowners are required to create on their property between a structure and the plants, brush and trees surrounding each structure. Fall and winter are perfect times to create vertical and horizontal spacing between grass, shrubs and trees. Please trim trees to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.”

For more information, visit www.fire.ca.gov or www.readforwildfire.org.

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