By Haleigh Pike
District 2 information officer
We’re no strangers to wildfires here in District 2, but 2021 was exceptionally difficult. With more than 1.9 million acres burned, our district worked alongside firefighters with road closures, emergency repairs, evacuations and helping to keep the public safe.
Our crews worked tirelessly on several fires this past fire season. At one time, District 2 had more than 300 miles of highway closed due to the Dixie, McFarland and Monument fires. And with rapidly changing fire behavior and over $90 million in damage to Caltrans infrastructure, there seemed to be no end in sight.
In early September, District 2 had nine active fires, five of which were impacting our highways, and with the Dixie Fire being the largest single blaze in California history, our entire district was feeling the impacts of the fire season.
But all our hard work does not go unnoticed.
Social media allowed us to connect with our communities in a way that was not possible during past fire seasons. In just a 28-day timeframe, we reached more than 1.4 million people through our Facebook page. That’s 1.4 million people who were turning to us for information and thanking us for our commitment to our communities.
Messages like, “Thank you Caltrans for all your hard work through these disasters. You are appreciated.” And, “Thank you for your service, support, and protection.” And, “Thank you for your commitment and efforts to help our community.”