Congressman Panetta joins firefighter roundtable in Carmel Valley

09 June 2021

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USA – CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. — Congressman Jimmy Panetta joined local, state and federal firefighters for a serious sit-down conversation over the need to not just fight fires, but to come together to prevent them.

“This is a roundtable of having local, state and federal firefighters to literally come to the table and talk about how we can continue to work together,” said Panetta.

The discussion also focused on the importance of defensible space standards around homes.

Kevin Kamikura, division chief fire marshal, said, “The maintenance around their home, around the hardscape and making sure the leaves, the needles, the debris is off the roof, out of their gutters from around off their decks and around the houses.”

The agree that coming together and bridging partnerships between agencies is key. Especially, in light of climate change, wildfires are more destructive than ever.

“Last year, we had a lot of lightning strikes come through that hit that started a lot of those fires. So, you know, it’s kind of dependent on that and also dependent on people being educated, on being just diligent and being careful,” Kamikura said.

This year, they have a new weapon to help fight wildfires: the Black Hawk helicopter.

Black Hawk helicopters hold three times as much water than what they currently use, the Huey helicopter.

It’s faster and more powerful. They said it’s a game changer.

Reno Ditullio, unit chief of Cal Fire San Benito & Monterey, said, “It will deliver more water to incidents and it is able to travel faster to the fires. So we are confident that we are able to meet our department’s goal of containing 95% of our fires at 10 acres or less.”

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