According to a CAL FIRE news release, dated September 7, 2011:
CAL FIRE is increasing staffing due to predicted dry lightning and strong winds throughout Northeastern California. Starting Wednesday evening, an upper level low will approach the California Coast drawing in monsoonal moisture, which is predicted to trigger dry lightning across the Northeastern section of California including Lassen, Modoc, Siskiyou, & Shasta Counties. In response to the predicted dry lightning, CAL FIRE is moving fire engines and resources into the areas expected to see an increased fire danger.
As this low moves into Nevada on Thursday, it will shift winds to the northeast creating breezy and dry conditions Thursday night into Friday across most parts of Northern California, including the areas where the dry lightning is predicted to hit. In addition to the prepositioning of fire engines, CAL FIRE is also staffing all reserve fire engines, staffing additional inmate fire crews 24 hours a day, and plans to hold all personnel on duty. In addition to department preparations, CAL FIRE 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.
“The forecasts indicate weather conditions could be similar to the lightning siege we experienced in 2008 when the state saw nearly 2,000 lightning sparked fires,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. “CAL FIRE’s firefighters are ready to respond if more fires do break out, but we especially need the public to be extremely cautious, because we don’t need any additional fires."
CAL FIRE 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 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