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San Diego Wildfire Season Entering Dangerous Phase

Firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the Ranch Fire, part of the Me...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018.

San Diego’s traditional wildfire season has arrived and fire officials are worried about the heat and wind that may be coming.

September and October are typically some of the hottest months in the San Diego region and the threat of dangerous wildfires has now stretched into November. The possibility of a catastrophic firestorm also goes up when there are Santa Ana wind conditions.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

“Any kind of wind-driven fire creates a significant issue for us,” said Thomas Schoots, a CALFIRE spokesman. “But having that hot dry air coming out of the desert, it’s proven and we’ve seen it in the past, it can get to the point where it makes a fire front unstoppable. You have embers shooting, you know, embers can fly up to a mile in advance of the main fire front.”

RELATED: Report: Drought, Climate Change Fueling California Wildfires

Local firefighters have had a pretty good year so far, according to CALFIRE. Both the number of fires and acres burned are down this year compared to a year ago.

“We’re able to throw a ton of resources at them very quickly. We’re able to typically make a stop very quickly. And we have a sufficient amount of resources to handle that,” Schoots said.

The monsoonal thunderstorms that are over the East County mountains this week will help keep brush and trees from drying out, but Schoots said it is a temporary condition that isn’t expected to have a lasting impact on fuel in the back country.

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Aired: September 4, 2019 | Transcript

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Photo of Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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