California sees big jump in acres burned by wildfires this year

Tiffany Olin Image
Friday, June 21, 2024
California sees big jump in acres burned by wildfires this year
Fire season has started hot for the State of California.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fire season has started hot for the state of California.

This week alone, crews are battling the 19,000 acre Sites Fire in Colusa County, the nearly 16,000 acre Post Fire near Gorman, and the 5,000 acre Aero Fire in Calaveras County, along with several smaller across the state.

"Fire season has been intense to start the season. We're seeing an increase in fire activity in the early part of the year," CAL FIRE/ Fresno County Fire, Fire Captain and Public Information Officer, Jacob Wild said.

CAL FIRE sharing that the number of wildfires across the state in the first half of the year is up 9%.

And there's been a dramatic increase in the acres burned-- skyrocketing over 1400% compared to the same time period last year.

The number is also much higher than the five year average.

"Due to the drier conditions, there was precipitation and stuff in the last couple years that we haven't seen this year so a lot of that fuel has grown and is starting to catch fire a lot sooner," Wild explained.

CAL FIRE says 95% of wildfires statewide are human-caused-- and then fueled by dry grasses and strong winds.

"People start to travel, start to go on vacations so we see a lot of the roadside fires and that's even going up into the foothills," Wild said.

Just last week, fire crews across Madera and Fresno County responded to multiple fires as the heat and wind ramped up.

"It's gotten hotter and drier earlier this season compared to the last couple years," Wild explained.

CAL FIRE sharing tips to help prevent wildfires:

  • Don't mow after 10 am
  • Don't allow your vehicle tow chains to drag while driving
  • Don't pull your vehicle into dry grass
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