San Andreas, CA — Heavy rains followed by warm temperatures could spell disaster this fire season, according to Cal Fire Vallecito Camp Division Chief Roy Evans.
“Rain contributes to a pretty significant grass crop as you drive around the area you can see it,” indicates Chief Evans. He adds, “So, those fine fuels are there. It’s just a matter of them curing and then all it takes is on ignition and then we could have something pretty catastrophic going on.”
May 6 is National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risk. A key topic is defensible space. Property owners must be sure they have and maintain 100 feet of defensible around their homes. Cal Fire also wants to remind the public of state laws related to the proper usage of equipment like lawn mowers, weed eaters, blowers and chainsaws used to achieve that space. It has created a guide for residents, which can be view here, Cal Fire Equipment Handout
With regards to the fire threat this season, Chief Evans tells Clarke Broadcasting, “I still think we’re in the 70 to 80 percentile. We’ll have the fine dead fuel moisture here in the next couple of weeks as the grasses die out. The rain has helped in the sense that it has provided a little longer buffer… but once brush component reaches the critical stage we’re right back where we were. Now you put tree mortality on top of that, we’ve got all this dead and dying fuel out there it just lends itself to another catastrophic fire year.”