SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – We’re still six months away from fire season in California, but dry conditions have crews battling flames all months of the year.
CalFire can never know where or when a wildfire will strike. It’s why they plan for the worst and say it’s a good idea for you to do the same.”
The National Weather Service tweeted out video Monday night showing .04 inches of rain in San Francisco, ending a long dry spell.
“It was 44 days of not seeing measurable rain,” Brian Garcia, NWS meteorologist, said.
We’re currently in a severe drought, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Garcia.He says rain in the bay area and snow in the sierras, isn’t enough to move the dry meter.
“Knowing that we’re not seeing anything in the medium and long-range forecast, the odds of us actually getting out of the drought are not good at all,” Garcia said.
A 46% chance, according to Garcia. Not a good prediction for firefighters.
“We’re certainly busier than we’d like to be this time of year,” CalFire Battalion Chief Issac Sanchez said.
Issac Sanchez with CalFire says that winter fires aren’t uncommon, but that dry conditions and strong winds have kept his firefighters busy. The airport fire east of Bishop is about 55% contained.
“We had a little over 4,000 acres burn there just a few days ago which is a concern,” Sanchez said.
While some crews battle active flames, others are forest thinning, clearing thick wooded areas near homes and roadways to slow down future wildfires and keep them close to the ground.
“We can’t rest on our laurels, we can’t expect that this year is going to be different than last year so what we do is we prepare and plan for the absolute worst,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez says homeowners should do the same when thinking about the upcoming fire season.
Preventing spread by removing dead vegetation from around the house, clearing out rain gutters, and have an emergency plan practiced, in case disaster does decide to strike close to home.
“Get those evacuations steps down now, make sure your family knows what they are, develop a communication plan and put those plans into effect when the time comes,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez says that 2020 was unique with the cause of several wildfires being lightning strikes, but he says the majority of fires in the state are the result of human error.