Fire Danger Forecast High This Year
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
The threat of wildfires is greater this year in Southern California after a dry winter.
In fact, this year California is already over the 5-year average amount of wildfires.
This is wildfire awareness week.
Even though we live in the desert, the threat of devastating wildfires is still very real.
In just the past few years, brush fires have raced through parts of the high desert and crept right up to people's homes in Palm Springs.
Peter orlando remembers a fire that burned right up to his palm springs home .
"and the embers were hitting the building itself, and thanks to the fire department they practically had their backs to the walls here of our home," said orlando.
Firefighters saved his home, but the charred ground left a lasting reminder.
"From that time on, it put a fear in our hearts about fires."
So Orlando took safety into his own hands by clearing brush and grass near his home and neighbors.
"I do feel a lot safer, because we've got a margin of approximately 50 to 100 feet," said Orlando.
Fire captains say that defensible space can save your home.
"It would be to your advantage to create some clearances around your home to make it easier for firefighters if tasked with the task of trying to protect your home from a wildland fire," said Palm Springs Fire Captain, Greg Lyle.
Many fires in our area start because of human carelessness.
"A vehicle trying to make it up the tram, and they left their air conditioning on, and they overheat, and the car starts on fire, starts the brush on fire, on a windy day like today becomes a major problem for us." It's not a joke that a careless cigarette starts fires, it does," said Captain Lyle.
Fire danger could be very high in Southern California this year.
"And in particular they are saying in the Inland Empire and Desert Region, so we are as a department, every year we gear up but this year we are expecting to have more potential for large fires," said Captain Lyle.
Cathedral City Fire is also gearing up.
"Last week, our crews were all out, in fact right behind us, preparing on this hillside."said Cathedral City Battalion Chief, John Muhr.
And while firefighters prepare, you can also get ready.
"Cathedral City Fire Department adopted a new program called Ready, Set, Go. A planning guide to assist residents in preparing for wildland fire season," said Chief Muhr.
It helps you make a plan, in case disaster strikes.
"It basically has a lot of information that you can fill out long before you have an emergency that's helpful in most any disaster, not just wildland fire," said Chief Muhr.
Fire chiefs say you can pick up one of the Ready, Set, Go planning guides at basically any fire department, so you can be ready in case of a wildland fire.