Officials Worried by Jump in Wildfire Activity – Wendy Burch Reports
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The summer fire season is two months away, but Cal Fire is already seeing a big jump in wildfire activity, and that’s cause for concern.
Wildfires are up 45 percent this year, authorities say.
Fire crews in California have battled more than 680 wildfires — 200 more than average for this time of year.
The Jurupa Fire burned over 300 acres in Riverside County in February.
And in Monrovia, a brush fire forced the evacuation of about 200 homes just last weekend.
Officials say the lack of rain is a big problem. The past winter was the fourth driest in Southern California in 135 years.
They worry that with hot summer days ahead, followed by Santa Ana winds that flare up in the fall, this fire season could be very busy.
Fire officials are increasing staffing levels and getting resources in place, moving air tankers to bases across the state.
Seasonal firefighters will be brought into the Angeles National Forest starting Sunday.
Visitors are urged to keep an eye on campfires to avoid starting any fires and to check spark-arrestors for off-road vehicles.
Authorities also say you should start clearing brush around your home now.
The 100-foot defensible space requirement significantly increases the chances of a home surviving a wildfire.
You should also have an evacuation plan in place.
Fore more information on how you can get prepared, visit readyforewildfire.org.