After a destructive fire season in 2015, conditions in California are already drying out, which prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare Wildfire Awareness Week.
During Wildfire Awareness Week, from May 1-May 7, Cal Fire is stressing the critical role all Californians play in preparing for fire season now.
“The rain we received this winter and spring has been great, but with over 29 million dead trees due to the drought and bark beetle, our fire conditions still remain elevated,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director. “While our firefighters are preparing for what could be another busy fire season, this week is an important reminder that all Californians must do their part and be ready.”
Despite the rain over the winter, Cal Fire has already responded to nearly 700 wildfires since the beginning of the year.
Being ready for a wildfire starts by maintaining 100 feet of defensible space and hardening homes with fire resistant building materials. During this drought, Cal Fire is highly recommending residents landscape their yards with drought tolerant and fire resistant plants.
Cal Fire also strongly recommends citizens have an evacuation plan, an emergency supply kit, and be ready to evacuate early in the case of any wildfire.
Cal Fire is also urging all Californians learn the steps to prevent sparking a wildfire. Over 90% of the wildfires in California are sparked by the activity of people, so ‘One Less Spark, means One Less Wildfire.’
It’s everyone’s responsibility to be fire safe outdoors and prevent sparking a wildfire.
Residents looking for additional information on how to prepare themselves, their families and their homes for wildfire can visit ReadyForWildfire.org. The site offers tips for residents to make their homes more resistant to wildfires and to ensure that their families are ready to evacuate early and safely when a wildfire strikes.