For first day in office, Newsom looks to tackle wildfire fight

On his first full day in office Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to make dealing with wildfires a top priority.

The governor revealed he is budgeting more than $300 million for emergency preparedness and fire prevention. He's also calling on the military to use innovative technology to save lives.

"The fact is the climate is changing and we need to change with it," Newsom said. "We still have organized so much of the bureaucracy of government around a world that no longer exists."

Newsom spoke at a state emergency operations center in a Sierra Nevada foothills community to emphasize the need for localized solutions in times of crisis.

He says $305 million will be invested into alert systems and new equipment to create consistency across the state's 58 counties.

Members of the military are also planning to leverage technology to save lives.

"We've been innovative in the past with unmanned systems," said Major Gen. David Baldwin with the California Military Department. "But now we're exploring and at the direction of the governor will continue to explore ways that we can enhance our ground-based sensors and even space-based systems. So we can provide notice and warning to people in real time.

Newsom also touched on the recent devastating wildfires and floods in just the last year that claimed 167 lives and billions of dollars in property.

He says the state can no longer be reactive to these deadly emergencies.

"I place no greater emphasis and energy and sense of urgency than on the issue of public safety, broadly defined, and in particular the issues of emergency preparedness," Newsom said.

He also talked about Los Angeles County's new earthquake early-warning app, saying he wants to bring the technology to other communities across the state.
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