SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION)
UPDATE 7/9/2020 1 p.m. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new Cal Fire helicopter during his update Thursday.
Newsom also shared Cal Fire's new Blackhawk helicopters. They are apparently 14% faster and can hold three times more water than the current "Super Huey" helicopters.
Newsom said 628 wildfires were reported in California just last week and that there has been a significant increase compared to previous years. He said there has been a reduction in the number of acres burned despite the increase in fires because of crew response.
Cal Fire announced during the news conference that it will be hiring 858 new seasonal firefighters.
According to the City of Scotts Valley, the State's new protocols for fire evacuations include wearing masks, using hotels instead of shelters when possible and temperature checks, mandatory masks, social distancing, pre-packaged food and enhanced nursing for those in shelters.
PREVIOUS STORY: Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to provide updates on the State's emergency preparedness as we enter fire season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the California Department of Public Health, there were nearly 290,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide as of July 7. 6,562 people have died.
The news conference is expected to start at about noon.