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Fire Season In U.S. Already One For The Record Books

San Diego County Wildfire Risk Predicted To Be Higher in Late Summer

Members of the media set up in front of smoke from the Wallow fire June 8, 20...

Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez / Getty Images

Above: Members of the media set up in front of smoke from the Wallow fire June 8, 2011 in Springerville, Arizona.

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The National Interagency Fire Center predicts a normal wild-land fire season for Southern California from July through September.

The National Interagency Fire Center predicts a normal wild-land fire season for Southern California from July through September.

But Mike Mohler with CalFire said fire season is year round in California.

He said rainy weather during the winter and late-spring mean more fuel for wildfires.

"The series of rains has brought several different crops of grass," said Mohler. "The later rains brings another crop of grass that in turn dies and becomes what we call ladder fuel. You've got almost three different grass crops from each rain, then they cure, so it adds to that fuel bed."

Mohler said as warmer weather dries the vegetation fire risk increases.

He said the concern grows during Santa Ana wind conditions that come in late summer and in October and November.

Mohler said creating defensible space around homes and structures can help reduce property loss.

There are currently large fires burning in nine states, the biggest is the Wallow Fire in Arizona.

The National Interagency Fire Center says more than 4.2 million acres have burned across the U.S. this year, making 2011 already one of the worst wildfire seasons in the last 10 years.

And it's not even officially summer.

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