Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

S.D. Wildfire Conditions the Most Dangerous Seen in Decades

The fire season has come early to several Southern California counties. State fire officials declared the start of the fire season Monday in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernadino counties. KPBS repor

S.D. Wildfire Conditions the Most Dangerous Seen in Decades

The fire season has come early to several Southern California counties. State fire officials declared the start of the fire season Monday in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernadino counties. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

Fire officials say some of the worst conditions they've seen in nearly a century prompted the action. The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection declared the early start because of dry vegetation and lack of rain. Last winter's freeze provides more fuel for fires. Clairemont resident Holly Duncan has lived near Tecolote Canyon for more than 30 years. She's never seen the canyon so dry.

Duncan : The reason I've never seen Tecolote like that is we never had a freeze like that. And there's native vegetation in there that clearly that's not its natural habitat. So it froze and it's dead and in some cases it's 20 feet tall.

That dry vegetation is one reason the Department of Forestry has already hired its seasonal firefighters. The agency is now staffing facilities around-the-clock because of the fire danger.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.