SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Rising temperatures after a wet winter have fire officials warning residents to do what they can to get ready for a busy fire season.
Doree Upchurch has lived in the Woodlake neighborhood for 26 years. She’s seen the rain that ended California’s drought, but it brought with it another problem.
[graphiq id=”969aIWrQV1P” title=”Acres Burned by Wildfires in California by Year” width=”600″ height=”532″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/969aIWrQV1P” ]
“Everything is just bursting in my garden,” she said. “It’s the best it’s ever been with all the rain.”
Calfire has its eye on the weeds that are exploding throughout the region.
“This is quite a bit of dramatic growth compared to last year alone,” Deputy Chief Scott McClain said.
Those weeds are sprawled around another danger lurking after five years of drought.
“We have over 102 million dead trees right now as we speak and that’s fuel,” he said while pointing toward fires already raging in Southern California. “Riverside went through several vegetation fires yesterday alone, covering 1,300 acres and another one over 200 acres and that was with humidity down in single digits.”
Caltrans crews are out in California looking around for problem areas, looking to thin fuels for future flames. It’s something fire officials say residents should be doing as well. Now is the time to create defensible space and nip problems in the bud before things get too hot to handle.