SACRAMENTO – As Labor Day officially signals the end of summer, Cal Fire officials are encouraging Californians to be cautious with outdoor plans this weekend as wildfire risk remains high. With millions of people taking advantage of the holiday weekend to visit beaches, parks, and campgrounds, we need everyone to be extra vigilant in preventing wildfires.
“This year we have seen not only the largest wildfire in California history, but the largest wildfire for 2018 across the United States,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Director of Cal Fire.
“The past few months, our firefighters have been extremely busy with devastating, record-breaking wildfires. This year, Cal Fire has responded to 4,434 fires that burned 876,428 acres, compared to last year when we responded to 4,170 fires for 228,803 acres. Even though we will have near-normal temperatures this weekend, vegetation across the state is extremely dry and fall is when we typically see some of the most devastating fires.”
“We need everyone to be prepared ahead of time with our Ready, Set, Go! program that helps equip residents for a wildfire,” said Lynne Tolmachoff, Cal Fire Chief of Public Education.
“As 95 percent of our wildfires are human caused, the One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire Program stresses how to prevent wildfires through proper care and maintenance of campfires, vehicles, outdoor equipment and much more.”
So, what can you do to help prevent wildfires:
- Never pull over and park in dry grass
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained
- When towing, ensure chains are not dragging on the ground
- Check your tire pressure to avoid driving on an exposed metal rim
- Obtain a campfire permit and ALWAYS check for local fire restrictions
- Keep a safe distance from dead trees to avoid falling branches and limbs
- Avoid parking and setting up camp under or near dead trees
- Be careful! Human activity causes 95 percent of wildfires
- Target shooting
- Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of any campfire – “Drown, stir and feel” to make sure a campfire is completely out
- When barbequing, never leave the grill unattended
- Do all yard work before 10 a.m. – avoid yard work on hot, dry and windy days
- Make sure you use the right tool for the job – lawnmowers are for cutting grass only
Visit ReadyForWildfire.org to learn more about being prepared and for tips in reducing wildfire, visit PreventWildfireCA.org. Get ready for wildfire with the Cal Fire app! For current fire information, visit www.fire.ca.gov.