Governor invests nearly $1 billion in emergency preparedness response and recovery
Executive Order N-16-19

Seasonal firefighters, new fire engines, and a state of emergency declaration to expedite forest management projects are just three of the highlights in this executive order. Full text below:


July 31, 2019

WHEREAS California experienced the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in its history in 2017 and 2018, devastating areas throughout California; and

WHEREAS a State of Emergency has been proclaimed to exist in California due to a vast tree die-off throughout the state, which has contributed to worsening forest conditions, creating extremely dangerous fire risk; and

WHEREAS an effective response to the catastrophic wildfire risks created by these forest conditions is likely beyond the capacity of any single local government, and requires the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS live fuel moisture levels are decreasing across the state under arid conditions, approaching a threshold wherein vegetation easily ignites and sustains fire; and

WHEREAS successive fire seasons in California have required firefighting professionals to spend consecutive weeks on-duty and without respite during high fire risk; and

WHEREAS the efficacy of wildland firefighting is enhanced by assigning a fourth crew member to fire engines; and

WHEREAS coordinated fire prevention, aggressive fuel reduction programs and strong initial attack resources are essential to protect lives, property and the environment in California.

NOW, THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue the following Order to become effective immediately:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) work with the Department of Finance to identify the funding available for 2019 emergency fire suppression and detection costs, and to immediately use such funding as follows: 

1. Hire and train additional seasonal firefighters to suppress wildfires, staff fire lookouts, and take other needed actions for the protection of health, safety, and the environment during this time of high fire risk. 

2. Assign a crew of four firefighters to selected CAL FIRE fire engines as warranted based on fire threat conditions.

3. Preposition resources to suppress wildfires and take actions to reduce the threat of large and devastating fires through fuels reduction and defensible space inspections across the State Responsibility Area.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice shall be given to this Order.

This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its departments, agencies, or other entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 31st day of July 2019.