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Cal Fire Says Upped Ranks Helped Aggressively Stave Summer Blazes

Fire season can turn on a dime in California -- but despite dry conditions this year the state's fire agency -- Cal Fire has some promising news. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

Fire season can turn on a dime in California -- but despite dry conditions this year the state's fire agency -- Cal Fire has some promising news. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

The state's fire agency, known as Cal Fire, has more than 30 million acres it's responsible for protecting. So far this year, despite dry conditions, spokesman Mike Jarvis says they've managed to keep the number of acres burned to around 82,000. That's compared to more than 200-thousand acres burned through the same time period last year.

Jarvis says a few things can explain for the success.

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<b> Jarvis </b> : We were able to increase our seasonal staff by a full 700 firefighters, which is substantial, and we've also increased the number of firefighters on engines so we could attack these fires aggressively at the beginning.

But Jarvis notes that conditions, along with the numbers, can change. He says they'll spend the next few months keeping an eye on the dry winds that come up in Southern California that make firefighting even tougher.