With dry winds forecast for many parts of Northern California, CAL FIRE has increased its staffing and is urging the public to be extra cautious due to the heightened fire danger. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning stretching form Shasta County down through the Sacramento Valley to San Joaquin County starting Friday morning for high winds and low humidity lasting through Saturday evening.
“Even with some recent rain in Northern California, conditions remain much drier than normal for this time of year,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “We have extra firefighters and equipment available to respond to new wildfires, but now especially is when we need the public’s help in preventing accidental wildfires.”
Since Jan. 1 CAL FIRE has responded to nearly 1,900 wildfires across California that have burned approximately 45,000 acres. In an average year for the same time period, CAL FIRE typically responds to about 990 fires that burn around 7,700 acres. The significantly dry conditions are a major factor in the 90 percent increase in fire activity.
During the Red Flag Warning CAL FIRE urges all Californians to exercise extreme caution outdoors in order to prevent a wildfires. A few helpful reminders and fire prevention tips include:
Don’t mow or weed eat dry grass on windy days
Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely
Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets
Be extra careful with all powered equipment outdoors including chainsaws, tractors and welders
Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on No Burn Days or when it’s windy
The public is also encouraged to review “Ready, Set, Go” procedures when it comes to preparing for a wildfire at www.ReadyForWildfire.org.