California fire acreage down from last year, officials say

CAL FIRE increased its air resources and hopes it will help with any unexpected blazes in the coming months.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022 11:23PM
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Fire officials say in total, fewer acres have burned this year, but it doesn't mean that can't change in the coming months.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fire officials say in total, fewer acres have burned this year, but it doesn't mean that can't change in the coming months.

Fire behavior overall in the last five to 10 years has definitely picked up and increased," says CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Brandon Markle.

Year after year, the Golden State faces massive wildfires that have destroyed communities, charred mountainsides and for some, have even become deadly.

They're situations fire crews have learned to be ready for at all times.

"We should always be prepared," Markle said. "It seems like these days, we have to be prepared all year."

So far this year, nearly 360,000 acres have burned.

This time last year, that number was around 2 million acres.

While those numbers are drastically different and the hot summer months are almost behind us officials say the rest of the year is not in the clear.

"The cooler it gets, the more people get out, do things and rightfully so because it's been hot all summer, but grass is still dead and grass is still dry," Markle said. "So sometimes, it picks up a little bit this time of year because people let their guard down."

Eight wildfires are actively burning in the state.

The largest is the Mosquito fire burning in Northern California.

Local fire departments are providing an extra hand.

A Tulare County crew is working on the Mosquito Fire, and a fire captain is assisting with the Mountain Fire in Siskiyou County.

"The complexity of these fires is getting worse, the need is now pretty common to go out of state," says Tulare County Fire Captain David Cornett.

CAL FIRE increased its air resources and hopes it will help with any unexpected blazes in the coming months.

Fire officials hope acres burned this year continue to be lower, but November is usually when the worst fires happen, so all they can do is be prepared.