SACRAMENTO — The 2012 fire season has proven to be a destructive year and with the dry conditions, Cal Fire officials are warning Californians of the continued wildfire threat. The combination of above average temperatures, below normal rainfall and record dry conditions have resulted in above normal potential for large fires in many parts of the state.
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“California has already experienced a significant increase in fire activity this year,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of Cal Fire . “Cal Fire crews remain prepared to respond to wildfires, but we are asking the public to take steps to help prevent fires during this unusually dry fall.”
Already this year, Cal Fire has responded to over 5,300 wildfires, which is over 1,300 more than last year and nearly 20 percent more than average. From these fires nearly 130,000 acres burned, over 75,000 more than last year. National forests, parks and other federally owned lands have seen their fair share of fires this year including a 270,000 acre fire that burned its way into the records books becoming the second largest wildfire in California’s history. In August the Rush Fire charred 271,911 acres in Lassen County on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Historically, California experiences it’s largest and most damaging wildfires in the late fall months. The potential this year is no exception, with no significant rainfall in sight. The result is an above normal potential for large wildfires in October for most of Northern California including the Bay Area, as well as much of Southern California from Santa Barbara down to San Diego County.
With the continued threat of wildfires, Cal Fire is asking all Californians to ensure they are prepared for wildfires. All residents should have a wildfire action plan that includes an evacuation plan. Unfortunately many evacuees don’t prepare what to take and where to go, and it’s often too late to remember those items when a wildfire strikes. To learn more on how to be prepared for a wildfire visitwww.ReadyForWildfire.org.