Cal Fire’s Santa Clara Unit will likely head into this fire season with something its never had before: dedicated hand crews.
The additional help comes in the wake of the devastating wildfire season of 2020, after Governor Newsom allocated millions of dollars in funding to ramp up hand crews across the state. Starting Wednesday and into Thursday, the agency’s South Bay sector will conduct its annual readiness exercise and final testing for hand crews in training. Passage of the test would upgrade roughly 50 firefighters to “Type 1” status, which would grant them full wildland firefighting capabilities.
On Wednesday, Cal Fire evaluated three teams from the Pacheco station, the California Conservation Corps and the California Department of Corrections. On Thursday, members of the California National Guard will take the test.