Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) joined officials from Cal Fire this morning to learn about the progress being made in fighting the Cranston Fire in Riverside County that has burned over 7,500 acres and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from mountain communities in Idyllwild and Anza.
After joining Cal Fire senior personnel, Senator Stone issued the following statement:
"After reviewing the damage and the devastation in the communities affected by the Cranston Fire, I came to the conclusion that while this fire seems to have been set by a deranged arsonist, we need to do a much better job at the state level of ensuring that electrical utilities are held responsible for doing a better job of clearing and reducing vegetation in and around their electrical wires. It is only by the grace of God that this fire or other wind events have not caused lines to fall and sparks to ignite even more fires in more densely populated areas.
"Further, I cannot say enough about how fortunate California is to have thousands of dedicated and capable people working for such agencies as Cal Fire, Idyllwild Fire, the US Forest Service and numerous municipal fire departments in and around the state of California. These firefighters are putting their lives on the line to save lives and property, and they have answered their call to service under the most difficult of circumstances.
"Additionally, I am thankful to officials at Southern California Edison who have told us they are doing everything possible to restore power to the local communities of Anza, Idyllwild, and other mountain areas that have had their power shut off as a way to prevent further fires from igniting. I look forward to working with SCE and other utilities around the state as a member of the newly created legislative conference committee dealing with wildfire management.
"Finally, I want to express my sympathy to the families who have been displaced and harmed by this most recent tragic event. I stand ready to work with you to provide the help and assistance you need and deserve, and I will continue to do everything I can to help you in this time of need."