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Cal Fire: Fire season 'not even close' to being over even with September rain

CalFire says to create defensible space to your property if you haven't done so already

JAMESTOWN, Calif. — The rainfall was a welcome sight, especially for those living in the towns threatened by the Mosquito Fire in Placer County and El Dorado County.

The rare September showers became a game changer for firefighters in finally being able to stop an out of control wildfire from destroying more property.

After several days of on and off again rain showers, the question some wonder is "Is fire season for this year over?"

"In a word, no, not even close," said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Isaac Sanchez.

Sanchez says it will take a series of storms before the fire season takes a breather. He says vegetation state-wide remains very dry because of years of drought.

In the meantime, he says people should take action and make sure they have 100 feet of defensible space.

"Work to reduce the amount of flammable vegetation that is close to your home, because ultimately in the event that a fire does break out, that flammable vegetation is going to burn and it's going to give off embers. And, those embers are going to look for places that will facilitate its growth," Sanchez said.

He also says the rain is a double edged sword, meaning California needs the rain of course to fight the drought but it also feeds the weeds and seasonal grasses.

"Of course, that grass ends up dying as it always does every single year everywhere in the state of California, and that's what leads to rapid fire growth," Sanchez said.

While this may be a window of opportunity with cooler weather to clear vegetation, Sanchez says you still need to be very careful when using power equipment.

Jamie Ponce, of Jamestown, her husband and four kids were evacuated from the Woods Fire that started in Sonora a few weeks ago. Although the fire came dangerously close to her home on a half-acre, the home survived unscathed.

She takes pride in the fact her front yard vegetation is very low to the ground, creating more than 100 feet of defensible space from her home.

"Just clearing brush is my main thing. If we can get a tree service out here, we will get trees trimmed a little bit more," Ponce said.

To learn more about creating defensible space around your property, go to www.readyforwildfire.org.


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