SACRAMENTO – Cal Fire is increasing its firefighting staffing as windy conditions are predicted to elevate fire danger across many areas of California.
With many Californians planning to recreate outdoors for the Memorial Day weekend, Cal Fire is asking the public to take steps to prevent sparking a new wildfire.
According to the National Weather Service many parts of California will see warm weather this weekend and winds through Saturday with gusts of 20-30 mph. There is even a risk of lightning across the higher elevations in the Sierra.
“Over the past several weeks we have experienced an increase in the number of wildfires,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director. “This weekend’s weather conditions will elevate our fire risk even higher, so we need everyone’s assistance ensuring they don’t spark a new wildfire.”
Since Jan. 1, Cal Fire has responded to over 1,100 wildfires that have burned over 10,000 acres. Last week alone fire crews responded to 169 new wildfires that charred approximately 4,000 acres.
In the midst of this severe drought, Californians are encouraged to be vigilant and remember that One Less Spark means One Less Wildfire.
· Obtain a campfire permit (www.PreventWildfireCA.org)
· Check for local fire restrictions
· Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire
· Have a responsible person in attendance at all times
· Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving
· When barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended
· Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained with nothing dragging on the ground
· When towing, make sure trailer chains are properly secured
· Never drive or pull over into dry grass
Fire is not the only danger that can occur in the outdoors, as water drownings also increase dramatically during this holiday weekend. Warm temperatures make the cool waters of California’s beautiful rivers and lakes very enticing, yet very dangerous.
In the Water:
- Always wear a life jacket!
- Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult
- Never swim alone
- Be cautious of rivers and waterways with rapid currents
- Drinking and swimming can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving