Fresno Fire sees rise in calls this year

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Summer hasn't even started yet and already the Fresno Fire Department is feeling the heat from a significant increase in fire calls.

The department has seen a nearly 80% increase in vegetation response from last year and structure fires are up by 30%.

And crews fear those staggering statistics could jump even higher with triple-digit temperatures and the Fourth of July just weeks away.

"It sounds cool, 'Let's light off the fireworks!' It shoots up in the air and it lands on your neighbor's wood roof, and that person loses their home," says Fresno Fire PIO Shane Brown.

But you can help mitigate the danger.

Fresno Fire is encouraging everyone to keep about 100 feet of defensible space around their homes to prevent the start of grass fires in their own backyards.

And if you're hitting the road, make sure to check your vehicle before heading out.

"Look at your trailer before you tow your trailer around. One loose chain dragging on a trailer can cause a spark on the roadway," says CAL FIRE Battalion Chief and PIO Seth Brown.

And the early fire season is showing no signs of relenting. Fresno County is preparing for a red flag warning beginning Wednesday with the high temperatures.

Those triple digits are creating fire dangers as more and more people remain indoors.

"When we're thinking about fire safety, we're thinking about how many items we have plugged into an electrical power strip. We're thinking about leaving food on the stove and making sure it's monitored at all times, but it's also making sure there aren't rugs or carpets over your electrical cords," says Nicole Maul with the American Red Cross Central Valley.
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