Cal Fire crews clear branches, reduce vegetation ahead of wildfire season

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The buzz of a chainsaw is a welcome sound for homeowners living in the Meadow Lakes area of Fresno County.

Crews are working to clear branches and vegetation in an effort to reduce the fuel that could feed a wildfire

"We are out here creating valuable needed defensible space around high-risk communities in Fresno County," said Seth Brown with Cal Fire.

Cal Fire has been doing this for years, but now they're getting help from the California National Guard after the governor's office declared a state of emergency along with additional funding.

There are currently 35 fuel reduction projects happening across the state -- including five in Fresno County.

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Gov. Newsom was in the Bay Area Tuesday where he discussed wildfire hazards where wildland and urban developments meet.

"The California National Guard activated five 20 person crews and we have two of those 20 person crews working in Fresno County on five high priority reduction projects," Brown said.

All along Beal Fire Road crews are creating a fuel break around the homes and getting rid of ladder fuels.

Overgrown trees and brush have pushed up to property lines and could put homes at risk.

"It's common for fires to start in dry grass so when fires start in dry grass and they get a little bit bigger they get into the brush," Brown said. "And when the brush gets more well involved that will carry the fire up into the trees and that's what can contribute to larger fires."

Fire officials recommend homeowners to prepare for wildfire season by creating a fire line around your property.

It's best to do this in the morning when temperatures are cooler.

For more information on how to keep your family safe during fire season click here.
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