Rising temperatures have officials looking towards fire season

Overgrown and dried-out grass or weeds are among the top fire hazards.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With warmer-than-average temperatures in the Central Valley just now, preparing for fire season is top of mind for firefighters.

They are looking ahead and getting ready for fire season to start at any time.

Whether it's in grassy fields or on your property, overgrown and dried-out grass or weeds are among the top fire hazards.

"Fires can still start even though the grass is green. We gotta be ready," says CAL FIRE / Fresno County Fire Battalion Chief Dan Urias.

Recent wildfires in the state, like the Colorado Fire near Big Sur on the Pacific Coast and the Laguna Beach, have fire crews keeping an eye on the weather.

Lack of rain - and dry conditions - create the perfect storm for a fire.

"Across the board, between fire crews, engine companies - everyone's getting prepared, not just in our area but across the state. When a fire does occur, if the fire needs additional resources, we can be deployed anywhere in the state," says Urias.

He says you should be getting prepared at home too.

His advice is to trim vegetation and keep grass mowed, and he suggests mowing early in the day before it gets too warm.

"Take any fuels around house, reducing it 30 feet from structure which gives us a chance to protect the structure should a fire threaten that home at any point," he says.

Fire season traditionally does not start until May, but if current weather conditions continue, CAL FIRE might have to call its seasonal crews in early.

For now, Urias says he's in "evaluation mode."

"We're prepared and ready for whatever may come our way but knowing temperatures are hotter, the threat is there," he says.

Urias says the threat is really always there for California because of the lack of rain, adding we no longer have the traditional May-October fire season.

Fire crews have to be ready for wildfires any time of the year.

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