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Fire Season Arrives Early In The South

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Fire season has come early to Southern California. The driest winter in a quarter-century is moving the official start of the fire season there up a month.

Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties begin the fire season next week. It establishes a heightened alert for extra staffing, increased public education and more equipment.

Officials say the nearly three and a-half million acres of Southern California land patrolled by state firefighters are drier than at any point since 1976, when records were first kept.