Metro Fire says they’ve seen a nearly 500 percent increase in fire calls so far this year, with an unusually dry start to 2014.
Rolling out on a call is a perfectly normal thing for firefighters around Sacramento.
But with conditions dry enough to be shrinking waterways throughout the area, they’re being called to respond five times more than usual to grass fires.
“Last year we had seven reported grass fires in the first 20 days [of the year]. This year up to 35,” Metro Fire Captain Jon Rudnicki said Monday.
Metro and other agencies are facing brush so deprived of moisture in what’s supposed to be the rainy season, that its water content is similar to what it would be after baking through August.
“This year, it’s really an all-around risk and people need to remember to maintain that clearance around their home to deep the debris away from their residence,” he said.
Even this late into January, Captain Rudnicki says one piece of debris around your house that you might night be thinking about is that Christmas tree that you haven’t sawed up or hauled off just yet.
No longer green, after not being watered in weeks, it could be the unfortunate fuel that helps your home go up in flames thanks to a stray spark.
And if you still have strings of lights attached to your house and an outlet, Rudnicki says taking them down will take down a significant fire threat.