CA Federal Firefighter Levels Plummet

Aug. 4—As California’s wildfire season ramps up, the number of federal firefighters in the state is down — way down — plummeting to its lowest level in years, despite pledges by fire officials to have boosted the ranks before a potentially busy summer.

The U.S. Forest Service, which operates the nation’s largest wildland fire force, entered the summer months with about 25% fewer firefighters in California than it had planned for, according to federal records obtained by The Chronicle. This translates into nearly 1,300 unfilled jobs.

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