Calfire warns of dangers as dry lightning moves in - Morgan Hill Times: Crime Fire Courts

Calfire warns of dangers as dry lightning moves in

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Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 1:30 pm

Calfire increased its staffing due to dry lightning and strong winds throughout much of northern California. A low pressure system along the coast is bringing subtropical moisture, which is causing isolated thunderstorms across northern and central California, many of which have little to no rain with them.

Considerable lightning has already begun and is likely to continue into Thursday. Dry lightning has already sparked over a dozen fires over the Sierra and northeastern California.

Ahead of today's predicted dry lightning, Calfire staffed its reserve fire engines, placed additional inmate fire crews available 24 hours a day, and has held all personnel on duty.

In addition to department preparations, Calfire is in close communication with local, state and federal partners including the U.S. Forest Service, the California National Guard and the California Emergency Management Agency.

“This year we have seen a significant increase in lightning-sparked fires in California,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Calfire director. “With the already tinder-dry conditions, this lightning storm system has elevated the fire danger even higher for this week.”

Calfire urges Californians to remain extra fire safe and help prevent new fires.

A few helpful reminders and safety tips include:

• Any mowing or weed eating should be done before 10 a.m. (and never during extremely dry or windy conditions).

• Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation.

• Ensure campfires are permitted and, if so, be sure to extinguish them completely when done

• Never pull your vehicle over in tall dry grass

“We are well into fire season and it’s critical that homeowners have a family disaster plan in place, so that they know exactly what to take and where to go when a wildfire ignites in their area,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Calfire director.

For more ways to prepare for wildfires visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org or www.fire.ca.gov.

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