By Laura Haefeli

COLFAX (CBS13) – The National Weather Service has issued the earliest Red Flag Warning to date as a lack of rain and snow in combination with high winds has fire agencies on high alert this weekend.

The early warning was shocking to Colfax residents who are still recovering from last year’s River Fire.

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“It’s kind of a shame, you know,” said resident Mario Denning.

The fire burned through parts of Placer County, destroying homes and property and forcing neighbors like Denning to evacuate.

The memories of last summer are still top of mind for Denning who’s already preparing for another hot summer ahead.

“Your actions end up saving your neighborhood,” he said.

Neighbors in Colfax are burning brush and in Denning’s case, he’s collecting 80,000 pounds of pine needles.

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“I made over 20 trips to the dumps with pine needles,” says Denning.

But the time to prepare may be over. The NWS Sacramento said it has issued the earliest springtime Red Flag Warning on record.

“Keeps starting earlier and earlier,” said Assistant Cal Fire Chief Steve Robinson.

Robinson said 25 mile-per-hour winds and plenty of dry fuel could make for a dangerous weekend.

“Once that fire gets into dry brush. That 25 mph wind will push that fire through the brush even faster,” he said.

Cal Fire is asking neighbors to do their part as agency staffing is at its lowest winter levels and isn’t scheduled to increase until the day after the Red Flag Warning ends.

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Cal Fire said this weekend is also officially a “no-burn weekend” which means open flames of any kind are not allowed.