OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Rotating closures of fire stations in Oakland are a thing of the past.
It was a cost-saving measure due to budget cuts. Now, Oakland fire stations will be fully staffed ahead of this year’s fire season.
Midway through the month of April and things have been busier than usual for the Oakland Fire Department.
You’re looking at some of OFD’s firefighting videos recorded within the past two weeks.
“We have seen definitely an increase in the number of encampment fires. We have had a number of vegetation fires and fire season is just starting,” Battalion Chief Heather Mozdean said.
When the 2021 fire season does begin all of the OFD’s fire engine companies will be back resourced and ready to roll.
“It’s absolutely what we need. We have been resilient but we’re really excited to be fully staffed. Since March we’ve had an engine company closed on a rotating basis to keep it equitable. That company has rotated through the city,” Mozdean said.
Oakland city officials say the full restoration of fire services is primarily the result of the Oakland City Council approving the use of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“And it was a relief to apply the American Rescue Act Funding to restoring fire services at a critical time when they’re absolutely needed,” councilmember Loren Taylor said.
Several of the recent fires occurred in councilmember Loren Taylor’s district in East Oakland.
“Yes there have been a number of fires. We are talking brush fires. There have been structural fires. The whole range and it’s something we absolutely need to get on top of. Fire season, as many know, is no longer a contained time window but, it really is year-round,” Taylor said.
“We’re preparing for fire season and we need all the resources available to us,” Mozdean said.