SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – State officials issued a warning about this year’s wildfire season. With the state facing its third year of drought, fire officials say we could be dealing with one of the worst seasons yet.  

In Paradise, CA, November 2018, a campfire killed 85 people, leveled close to 19,000 homes and structures, and charred nearly 154,000 acres. Cal Fire officials say that it is still the most destructive fire in California history. Now, approaching the peak of fire season, fire officials said they have some deep concerns about what is around the corner.

“We can’t predict, but it doesn’t look good, due to what we are seeing out throughout the state,” said Robert Foxworthy of Cal Fire. 

Foxworthy said that since the campfire, the destruction has accelerated.  For example, last year’s Dixie Fire stretched into five counties and burned 1,400 structures.

“That was a phenomenon but then we had the lightning strikes. We don’t know, but we know it can get bad,” Foxworthy said. 

Foxworthy said crews are assembling now, getting ready to fight.  Hiring is on the rise and more equipment, such as special air units, are in position. He said Cal Fire has planes in place that can be at a fire within 20 minutes.

This week marks Wildfire Preparedness Week and he said officials are touring the state to drive home the message to prepare now, just in case.  

“Get those bags ready, get ready to leave and if you are told to leave, do so, so we can fight fires and not focus on saving lives,” he said.