The heat wave is adding to the extreme fire conditions facing the state fire and emergency operations officials are gearing up for what could be another record breaking fire season.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, so far over a million acres have burned this year, topping last years number by nearly ten thousand acres. What’s even more concerning, fire officials say conditions now are what they typically see in August or September.
“We’re reaching critical levels where every point on the field moisture model has a significant impact on fire behavior and how readily available that vegetation will burn so that’s extremely alarming, says Robert Garcia, fire chief of the Angeles National Forest. He says 90 percent of the fires in Southern California are caused by people and can be prevented. He is urging people to be extra cautious especially as the Fourth of July holiday approaches.
“Each year it keeps getting worse and worse and now with prolonged drought conditions, the expectation is this is going to be another historic season for us,” says Jon Gudel, the
public information officer, for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services or Cal OES.
They’ve already deployed mutual aid resources in high fire danger areas throughout the state. With eight states under extreme weather warnings and hundreds of record temperatures on the brink of being shattered, fire officials hope there’s enough firefighting power, people and equipment, to stop fires before they get out of control.