McCLELLAN (CBS13) — As far as fire seasons go, compared to last year, it’s been a pretty slow start to the season.
At least 55 acres in Napa County went up in flames during Monday’s wildfire near Lake Berryessa, dubbed the Canyon Fire. Aircraft dropped fire retardant to surround the blaze and prevent it from spreading. This type of fire has been seen fewer times this year, thanks to mother nature.
“We’re looking at a longer winter this year, a little bit of milder weather,” said Scott McLean, Deputy Chief of Cal Fire.
On July 23rd last year, the Carr fire broke out in Shasta County. It was one of the hundreds of fires that had already hit California.
In fact, according to Cal Fire, there were 750 more fires at this time last year, primarily due to 2018’s low humidity and temperatures above 100.
“Last year we saw that weather consistent. It didn’t even bat an eye and it lasted from early June to several weeks, with north winds, over 100 degrees consistently, said McLean.
This year’s milder conditions can also be seen in the number of acres burned. Last year at this time, Cal Fire said more than 153,000 acres of wildland had been scorched, compared to just 21,000 acres this year.
But Monday’s Canyon fire and other recent fires are an indication a transition is underway.
“It has started, it is there, we’re seeing a lot of little fires popping up,” said McLean.
As the weather heats up, grass will continue to dry out and those little fires will have the potential to grow into firestorms. So Cal Fire is urging people to prepare for things to potentially get worse.
“You should already be ready. You should have already cleared your defensible space in those rural areas. You should also have your go-bag ready to go,” said McLean.
One of the things you can do to prepare is to visit Cal Fire’s website Readyforwildfire.org. It’s loaded with information on how to prepare, and what to do, if you are affected by a wildfire.