CALIFORNIA, USA — Wildfire season is already kicking into high gear.
The number of acres burned this year is around 700% higher than last year at this time. So far, more than 13,000 plus acres have burned when combining both state and federal fires, according to Cal Fire.
Officials also report there have been 1,788 fires this year compared to 1,065 fires compared to last year around the same time. 2020 Later went on to become the worst fire season on record in California.
One of the biggest factors heading into this fire season is the growing drought concerns. The state saw an increase in Extreme Drought conditions since last week. Five percent of the state still remains in the most critical Exceptional Drought category.
This is especially true for the northern part of the state which is seeing some of the biggest deficits in annual rain and snow.
Downtown Sacramento recorded its driest April on record with no measurable rain.
Near-record heat recently has also helped dry out fuel, like grass and brush, throughout the valley and lower foothills.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, many of the early season fires have started from people trying to clear defensible space on their property to protect their homes from an approaching fire.
As we head deeper into the dry season, the fire danger will start to spread to higher elevations.
In the meantime, the best way to prevent a fire is to prevent a spark. Some of the ways to do this include mowing and weeding before 10 a.m. when the temperatures are lower and humidity is higher. Also, never mowing in dry grass. When driving, make sure there are no chains dragging behind that can send sparks flying into nearby dry grass. If there are problems with a vehicle, try to avoid pulling over into dry grass.