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The 2023 fire season is inevitable, but it will be delayed

Over the weekend, officials in Alberta, Canada declared a provincial state of emergency due to wildfires. For San Diego residents, the wildfires are a reminder of our vulnerability here.

“Places to our north, like Canada and the Pacific Northwest were much drier than normal. So in a way, it could be a sign of times to come when we ripen up or when the grass cures and we start seeing the vegetation turn golden brown,” said Alex Tardy, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service San Diego.

The “normal” fire season in San Diego County can start at the end of June, but really ignites in July and August, but according to Tardy the winter’s heavy rain and cooler temperatures will affect the timing of this year’s fire season.


“We are looking at a delayed season of a couple months,” Tardy said. “But that doesn't mean we won't have wildfires for sure because it's a long summer and long dry season in Southern California.”

San Diego’s winter weather has also affected this year’s plant growth.

“Basically, two winters fell in one winter here even in Southern California. Two winters in one, so the vegetation is really lush, green, nothing like we've seen since the last time was 2019,” Tardy said.

Cal Fire Captain Brent Pascua said that extra brush needs to be cut back now.

“That turns into fuel when it dies off. So there's a lot more fuel, there's a lot more potential for those bigger fires,” Pascua said. “We look at Alberta and that should get us to say, ‘Hey, we don't want to be like that. Let's start clearing now. Let's start clearing early. So, that if something does happen like that we're safe, our property safe and you know we get a families out of harm’s way.’”


Residents can start preparing their for homes for the fire season by “home hardening.”

“It's when we replace the materials on our house with flame-resistant materials. There’s fire ember catching screens you can use on your house things like that,” Pascua said.

Pascua also said people should be careful when using motorized equipment around their homes. It can easily spark a fire in thick, dry brush, he said.

“Also, make sure your car is in good working order, so you’re not breaking down and starting fires by pulling off the side of the road. There's plenty of dry brush on the side of roads,” Pascua said. “Towing trailers and dragging chains again will easily start this grass that we have this year. So all those little things we just have to be extra careful.”

To find out more information about the upcoming fire season and how to best prepare for it, go to and if you see any kind of fire activity immediately call 911.