CALIFORNIA, USA — California is facing another dry year, and as such, the state is bracing for an intense wildfire season.
Roughly 16% of the state is now in Exceptional Drought, the highest level on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Over 73% of California remains in the next highest level, Extreme Drought, with over 37 million Californians in a drought area.
As these dry conditions continue to persist, it's not a matter of if but when a wildfire will be heading your way.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for fire season:
Create defensible space
First off, if you live in a wildfire-prone zone, which at this point is much of the state, be sure to create defensible space around your home.
Creating defensible space includes clearing out dry brush and other debris at least 100 feet away from your home. The term 'dry brush' includes dried grass, leaves (check your gutters!), and bushes.
Put together an emergency kit
Be sure to put together an emergency kit ahead of time. This is good advice for all kinds of disaster preparedness.
Your emergency kit for fire season should have important documents, N95 masks, and other supplies like water and food to take with you if you're forced to leave at a moments notice. Don't forget to prep for your pets as well with extra water, food, bowls, and any medications they may need.
Sign up for warning system notifications
Be sure to sign up for local warning system notifications. Being on top of warning notifications can truly save lives.
Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather and wildfires. To sign up, visit nixle.com and find your local area to get alerts.
Be sure to also download our ABC10 app to get breaking alerts in your area, in real time.
Dry vegetation, along with low humidity and wind are the main conditions needed to start a wildfire. That's why it's important to take these precautions seriously, as wildfire season is already here.
Keep in mind, according to Cal Fire, 2020 was one of the most severe fire seasons on record. 2021 has already had more fires and more acreage burned so far than this same time last year.
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