Southern California’s most destructive wildfire season finally came to an end when the U.S. Forest Service announced Jan. 12 it had reached full containment on the Thomas Fire. But that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods just yet.
A recent report from the National Interagency Fire Center’s Predictive Services Program warns that by May the San Joaquin Valley and the eastern slopes of the Sierra foothills will experience an “above normal significant wildfire potential” as the recent dry weather persists¹.
In other words, there’s a pretty good chance the region could be hit by a wildfire big enough to require help from outside the area starting next month. That’s why it’s a good time to brush up on some simple fire prevention techniques from CalFire’s “One Less Spark – One Less Wildfire” program²:
- Use lawn equipment safely: Mow your lawn before 10 a.m. on day’s when it’s not hot and windy. Never mow your lawn on a red flag warning day and make sure every piece of gasoline-powered equipment has a spark arrester if you use it in a wildland area.
- Create a defensible space: Clear all dead weeds and vegetation from an area within 100 feet of your home or any other building on your property. Remove any needles or leaves from your gutters and trim any branches less than six feet off the ground.
- Drive safely: Never pull your vehicle over onto a patch of dry grass. Keep your vehicle properly maintained, your tires properly inflated and so you don’t drive on the rim, and make sure your trailer chains don’t drag across the ground.
Visit this website to learn more about ways you can prevent wildfires in your area and get more information about the latest wildfire forecast reports.