Cal Fire increases winter staff as 'responding to wildfires almost daily'
“With the lack of rain, our local vegetation is tinder dry; all you have to do is go outside to hear the crackle and crunch of pine needles and leaves under your feet. Add wind to this scenario and you are looking at very critical fire conditions (Red Flag Conditions),” said Cal Fire Unit Chief Mike Kaslin of the Amador-El Dorado Unit. “We are responding to wildfires almost daily, which is not at all normal for January in the foothills of the Sierra. We have increased our staffing levels to meet the need and can quickly augment that if it becomes necessary, but we need everyone’s help if we are to remain fire safe.”
Fire safety tips for Red Flag Conditions:
• Do not burn when it is windy. As illustrated by the Colby Fire near Glendora last week, wind can cause a small fire to become a raging wildfire.
• Do not drive into tall dry weeds or brush because your vehicle can catch the vegetation on fire since the exhaust system of your vehicle is hot enough to ignite a fire. If you must pull to the side of the road, make sure the area is clear of vegetation.
• Do not use gas-powered equipment when it is warm and windy because a single spark can cause a wildland fire which can quickly grow out of control. Wait for a day when there is no wind and work in the early morning hours or after 6 pm when the humidity is higher and a chance of a wildfire is lessened.
“We understand that many people are taking advantage of this weather and are outdoors creating additional defensible space around their homes. We want to encourage this, but at the same time, we want folks to be fire safe,” said Kaslin.
Following these fire safety tips will allow you to work safely in your yard. If you want to read more fire and life safety information, please visit our website at fire.ca.gov.