Sylmar, Los Angeles, California FireLate last week, officials in the Angeles National Forest raised the Fire Danger from Moderate to High. This in and of itself isn’t much news – the Forest Service usually ups the warning level every year – but the timing is unusual. Forest Service officials say the moisture and fuel levels in the forests of Southern California are now reaching their summer levels months before summer begins.

All this is because L.A. is on track to have its fourth driest year since we started keeping records. L.A. usually gets about 14 inches of rain a year and now, near the end of our rainy season, we’ve only had 5.14. Already, County fire officials say they’ve seen small blazes start “almost every day.”

Fire Officials are warning visitors to the backcountry to remain vigilant about fire safety – 90% of the fires in the San Gabriels are started by humans. If you’ve got a campfire, be sure it’s well doused with water and completely out before you leave – and when you’re parking at the trailhead, be sure your car isn’t parked above tall grass (that’s what sparked last year’s 4,192-acre Williams Fire).

Here’s hoping our fire season is more mild than they expect it to be …

Image by James L.A.

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