Over 650 acres in Castaic went up in flames just two weeks ago, prompting an evacuation order for residents in areas near the fire. Our first responders acted swiftly to contain the blaze, our local Red Cross sprang into action to find lodging for evacuees and our Animal Care Center opened its doors to pets needing to be housed.
Our community was lucky this time, but this is hardly the first wildfire scare in our area. Simi Valley just had a brush fire earlier this week and one earlier in April that was thankfully extinguished by firefighters as it enveloped some 23 acres.
California has recently experienced some of the most destructive wildfires in its history. In 2018, the Campfire claimed the lives of 85 people and destroyed 18,804 structures. In 2019, the Tick fire forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents and poisoned our air with noxious fumes. In 2020, the Soledad fire in Agua Dulce burned over 1,000 acres, threatened over 4,500 homes, and completely shut down Highway 14. And last year, five of the top six largest wildfires in California’s history occurred. During that time, at least 33 individuals lost their lives, over 4 million acres were scorched and 9,400 homes, businesses, and structures were destroyed.
It is precisely because of the imminent danger that wildfires pose—to our community and to the entire state—that I introduced Assembly Bill 267.
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