Fire season in California usually begins in late spring. But this year, firefighters are already concerned in mid-winter. Cal Fire crews battled a 300 acre wildfire in Lake County last month. And as of Monday night, they were tackling one that spread to more than 400 acres in Inyo County, east of Fresno.
“We’re really hoping for some additional rain over the next few months,” said Cal Fire spokesman, Dennis Mathison on Monday. “But should it not unfold that way, then we’re preparing for the worst.”
Just like baseball players are in “spring training” for their upcoming season, Cal Fire crews are busy training for what could be a busy season in California’s wild lands.
Rainfall totals around the Sacramento region are at about 90 percent of average for this time of year. But most of that rain came in November and December. This month and the previous one have so far been the driest January and February in Northern California since the 1920s, prompting warnings that are typically reserved for heatwaves.
“I want to emphasize to the public, this is the time of year for them to do their part,” advised Mathison, “To be looking around their homes, maintaining that defensible space around their homes so that should a wildfire occur; it gives us a better chance to save their property.”