A look at California’s emergency operation center as fires burn

State News

SACRAMENTO (KGET) — State emergency management leaders spent Monday monitoring both big fires burning in Northern and Southern California while bracing for more power shutoffs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now embedded at the operations center. working alongside state officials.

“We have been able to successfully have them as part of our planning cell at the governor’s request to rapidly get fire management assistance grants and apply those to the fires taking place,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghirladucci. 

Ghirladucci says 400 firefighters are pre-positioned throughout the state, prepared for wherever threatening wind might hit.

Hundreds of firefighters are also coming in to help from nearby states including Washington, Oregon, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and Idaho.

“This state has been very forthright in terms of prepositioning assets to a degree that we never have had in the past,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

While state leaders say they’re confident in California’s firefighting resources, concerns still linger as PG&E prepares for another possible round of power shutoffs Tuesday.

California leaders continue to keep the utility under a microscope as investigators look into PG&E’s possible role in recent fires.

The governor said Monday once the utility is out of bankruptcy, he wants as many bidders as possible to consider taking over PG&E including billionaire businessman Warren Buffet.

“We continue to look for bidders large and small, all across this country, and he’s among many in this business and I hope more people a bid for the assets so we have a competitive process,” Newsom said.

The state emergency operations center is expected to remain active at this level the rest of the week.

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