By Renée Santos

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hot and dry conditions continue throughout the region, and fire crews are bracing for what is known as the most devastating time of year for fire season.

A warning from Cal Fire: Don’t let your guard down.

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The agency says this is the most critical time of the fire season as dry leaves fall from the trees and the winds start to shift.

Giant air tankers carrying 9,300 gallons of retardant are already busy, flying in and out of a base and fighting a new fire that sparked in Shasta County this week as crews still deal with Caldor Fire flare-ups.

Sandy Mecham now lives out of a hotel after the Caldor Fire destroyed her Grizzly Flats Home.

Cal Fire released video showing flames and heavy smoke in the Caples Creek drainage north of Highway 88 on Wednesday. The fire activity was sparked by gusty winds, increasing the fire danger.

The wind is what scares Mecham the most.

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“The wind is going, it’ll just take off and it can change, that’s what happened to us because the wind was going one direction and then the fire changed and took out our town,” she said.

As the Caldor Fire continues to threaten homes, Cal Fire is putting out a warning telling people the fall months are the most devastating.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon Heggie says during this time of year, there’s a pattern of wind events, including Santa Ana winds.

“Typically, after a low-pressure kind of skirts the top of California then a high pressure sets up over the four corners, it creates that wind gradient where you really get those really strong northeast winds and it dries out the landscape,” Heggie said.

Darin Pointer who lives in Echo Lake worries about even the slightest change, knowing where he lives is not in the clear just yet.

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“It’s a little unsettling not knowing if we are going to have another fire or not,” he said.