By Rob Mcallister

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The drier winter has Cal Fire gearing up for a busy fire season in Northern California, preparing for the firefight a lot earlier than usual.

Flashing lights and sirens may be common sites and sounds this summer.

“It’s already been active,” said Dennis Mathisen, Cal Fire. “We’ve experienced 150 fires over an average year’s number.”

That’s because — even though it’s only April — most fields are already turning brown.

“We had an extremely dry winter — very low rainfall,” said Mathisen.

The blazes have been typically grass fires, like the one in Roseville on Sunday. With moderate temperatures do far, few have gotten out of hand, but the dried weeds are a perfect fuel for flames. When the wind blows, the fire can be hard to slow down in fields, which is why it is best to do your part now.

“Anything flammable, combustible plants like that. You want that space of 30 feet of defensible space,” said Rashawn Fulcher, Sac Metro.

Due to the potential of a bigger fire season, districts up and down the state are ramping up staff levels.

“We transitioned over to our fire season staff in Southern California last week, which is a few weeks early. Right now, we are continuing to train our seasonal staff in Northern California,” Mathisen said.

Fire officials stress that the defensible space can help save a lot of homes during the fire season.


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