by Greg Liggins

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – If you thought last year’s fire season was bad, there’s some sobering news: experts say we should expect even more fires this year, with double the number of acres possibly burned.

One of the things behind the dire fire warning this season is the all dry vegetation. Acres and acres of dry grass and brush stretch from the Oregon border down to Mexico. The office of emergency services says one of the things that is most needed this fire season is vigilance. Everyone needs to have a plan because it’s expected to be a very busy year.

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“We’ve done our annual wildland refresher drill, we call it, where folks go out and get their hands, checked all their equipment and practice those evolutions for grass fires and wildland-type activity,” said Captain Keith Wade of the Sacramento Fire Department.

Even urban fire departments are expected to be busy this fire season. Soon-to-be firefighters in Sacramento are expected to be ready for the front lines this August, about the time the fire season heats up. Even though it’s wildland fire season, city departments will be called upon to help other departments and agencies in need.

“Any moment we’re ready to assist any state or local government system that needs our help. So, if the call for help comes we’re ready,” said Wade.

Fire officials gathered in southern California this afternoon to share how they are preparing for an expected busy season.

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“July 1st we have 343 engines. We have a large amount of fixed-wing aircraft that’s covered. And we have helicopters. We have new helicopters coming through the end of the year,” set a state fire official.

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Experts say to prepare for a potential doubling of grass fire acreage this season, with the most dangerous time expected between October and December.

“These fires are growing exponentially and they’re requiring more resources,” said an official.

To prevent fires, even urban districts will be throwing many resources at small grass fires To ensure they don’t get out of control.

“I think all fire departments…have learned from our experience with other fires that we learned you need to frontload the resources early to get ahead of these types of fires,” said Wade.

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Another thing the state is preparing is hiring more people to help out both during and after a disaster.