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San Diegans Urged To Prepare For Dangerous Wildfire Season

Firefighters battle the Witch fire on Oct. 23, 2007, in Escondido.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Above: Firefighters battle the Witch fire on Oct. 23, 2007, in Escondido.

California’s wildfire season is off to an early and dangerous start. Firefighters have already battled 1,600 wildfires throughout the state this year, which is 500 more fires compared to the same period last year, and 85 percent more fires than in an average year, according to Cal Fire.

State and local fire officials are urging San Diego residents to prepare for potentially dangerous wildfires this summer and fall.

NWS Senior Forecaster Robert Balfour recently told KPBS that rainfall is approximately 65 percent of normal and vegetation moisture levels in some inland areas are the driest they’ve been in nearly 100 years.

"Everything’s lining up for an explosive fire growth," Balfour warned. "It’s the fine fuels, the grasses, the pine needles the cut vegetation that’s been laying around for a while."

Firefighters say the brush is dryer and more flammable than they have ever seen at this time of year.

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