Actually its not. The problem is that I think he is referring to actual rakes and a lot of minions. Actually its done all the time on a large scale and there is machinery to aid in this.
The other problem is you are right about forest litter but it takes rain and when there is no rain,as in California, which has had a serious drought problem for several years (with some exception) that con't work. When you have a problem like that you really have to take care of the forests and thin the trees if you want to stop the fires.