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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- The hillsides throughout the state have never looked so pretty. Lush and green, it’s hard to imagine we were ever in a drought for the past five plus years.

Many people say “this must be great for you guys, no wild fires!” This could not be further from the truth. The lush green vegetation will begin turning golden, then brown by May and June. The problem is the fuels in the hillsides have quadrupled due to all the rain making this year likely one of most deadly and dangerous wildfire season!

Additionally, fires will be occurring in areas we normally don’t have fires. Travel east on the 10 freeway past Morongo or the high deserts of Barstow and Lancaster. What is normally sparse fuels and desert sand, are now filled with consistent fuels of lush green grass which will become bone dry in the summer. This increases the geographical areas for fires.

For now, go out and enjoy the beauty of it all. But keep this tucked away, if you live in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area start thinking about cleaning, and clearing your property. Wildfire season will be here before you know it, and you’ll want to be ahead of the game.

We’ll be revisiting this one a bit more often this season!

Contact your local fire department for brush fire safety and clearance tips.

*Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.