Dry winds put Cal Fire crews on high alert; public urged to be cautious outdoors

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – With gusty, dry winds in the forecast, Cal Fire has increased its staffing and is urging the public to be extra cautious as fire danger heightens. The Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for many areas in Southern California starting today, Tuesday, April 29, for high winds with gusts of 55 mph along with low humidity lasting through Thursday.

“The drought has set the stage for a very dry and potentially dangerous fire season,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director. “Fire season never really ended last year in Southern California and these strong winds will only elevate the current fire risk.”

Over the past several months, Cal Fire has hired additional seasonal firefighters across the State and bolstered fire equipment staffing months earlier than normal. In advance of the latest wind event, Cal Fire has increased its preparedness by staffing additional fire engines, bulldozers, fire crews, and aircraft. These state resources will be positioned strategically to allow for rapid response into communities and watershed areas that may be affected by a fast moving wildfire. Already this year, Cal Fire has responded to over 1,100 wildfires that have charred over 2,500 acres. In an average year for the same time period, Cal Fire would typically respond to 500 wildfires for just over 1,300 acres.

“We have extra firefighters and equipment available to respond to new wildfires during this wind event,” said Chief Dale Hutchinson, Cal Fire Southern Region chief. “While we are prepared, we are reminding residents to be extremely cautious while outdoors in order to prevent a wildfire. One less spark, means one less wildfire.”

Cal Fire asks Californians to remember ‘One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire’ and offers the following tips to prevent a wildfire:

· Don’t mow or weed eat dry grass on windy days

· Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely

· Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets

· Be extra careful with all power equipment outdoors including chainsaws, tractors and welders

For more ways to help prevent a wildfire visit PreventWildfireCA.org and to prepare for wildfires visit ReadyForWildfire.org.

9 Responses to "Dry winds put Cal Fire crews on high alert; public urged to be cautious outdoors"

  1. Lee   April 29, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Please be vigilant and don’t do anything stupid!

  2. Me   April 30, 2014 at 10:55 am


    You mean like dropping bombs with 95% temps and 5% humidity?

    Thank God that us civilians aren’t using our weed wackers though….

  3. Wilby   April 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Too late. Rancho Cucamongo hills are on fire. Lot’s of evacuations presently.

  4. Pink   April 30, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Looks like there is a fire in Riverside County VN, any news on that, or is the smoke coming from somewhere else? Hard to tell with the winds…..

    ***VILLAGE NEWS REPLIES**** Hi Pink, yes, there is a 200+ acre fire over in the Rancho Cucamonga/Etiwanda area – currently causing evacuation of homes and several area schools. The winds are causing huge problems. I have family members over there that have just been evacuated. There are multiple fire agencies on it. Thank you, all clear here for now (hopefully it will stay that way). —Debbie Ramsey

  5. Lee   April 30, 2014 at 11:37 am

    @ #2 Me

    Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they would never do that! C’mom man, our The Few. The Proud. The Marines. would NEVER do such a stupid thing!

    After all, they . . . love America.

  6. Pink   April 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Oh gosh that’s awful Debbie. Hope they get it out quickly. Praying your loved ones are safe, and their homes saved.


  7. DR DR   April 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    The location of this fire has NOTHING to do with the Marines and our base, Lee, read the article.

  8. grunt   April 30, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Dr Dr – nope, you are wrong, according to Lee everything bad or evil is the Marines fault – highway extensions – just to inconvenience "we the people" and let maybe one or two Marines use the road.

  9. Queen   May 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Yes, I agree with Lee….let us do nothing stupid….such as the fire drills on base…better to just hope all the training and preparedness that SHOULDN’T be done works.


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