Valley Prepared for an Early Fire Season

May 9, 2009 12:41:11 AM PDT
Cal Fire has sent Valley crews to help out in Santa Barbara. Still, officials here say we are prepared locally, and they hope homeowners are too.Gusty winds and high temperatures kept Valley Cal Fire crews busy Friday. Alvina Moreno said, "Just a lot of smoke, a lot of fire, trees falling."

This fire in Madera torched about ten acres of fruit and vegetable gardens, destroying a structure in its path.

In Clovis, a fire broke out after someone started mowing dry grass in the middle of the day. The homeowner says she was trying create space around her home so that she could prepare for fire season. Debora Lyles said, "It was a bad day. I knew when the wind picked up, I thought you know what, I'm scared for it."

The one-acre blaze narrowly missed Greg Mullanax's house. It reminded him of the same images coming out of Santa Barbara. "Well its kinda scary cause when you're seeing that on tv and then all of a sudden you look out the window and its happen next door..that's a scary thought."

An early start to fire season, combined with an ongoing drought is a scary thought for firefighters too. Chris Christopherson said, "We do have the potential for a major fire in this area also and residents, visitors, everyone needs to be vigilant to be fire safe."

Cal Fire spokesperson, Chris Christopherson says even with some local crews in Santa Barbara, they are fully prepared to protect the Central Valley.

In order to do their job, they need homeowners to do the same. "Everybody that lives in this area should look at what's going on down there with that fire, the homes that are being destroyed and look at your own property, look at your own defensible space," said Christopherson.

Cal Fire officials tell me there are crews from Northern California stationed here until our local crews return from Santa Barbara.

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