FELTON, Calif. (KION) Cal Fire CZU says their crews have already responded to and contained 5 wildfires within the unit since March 31, 2021, which they say is highly unusual this early in the year.
The state of California is dealing with a second drought this year, and mixing that with much drier and warmer conditions, Cal Fire says it only fuels more burns and the risk of wildfires. They add that rainfall totals are 50% of normal for this time of year for the region.
Crews have already been forced to call air support to help contain these fires, which they say is also highly unusual since air resources aren't normally needed until early June.
Cal Fire says several of these fires came from escaped burn piles, including one burn pile of household trash. They say it's only legal to burn vegetation cut from one's property. Cal Fire is reminding residents to use extreme caution when performing burns and if their crews continue to respond to escaped burn piles, a burn ban will have to be put in place.
Another fire happened within the CZU Lightning Complex burn scar. The 6-acre fire was a result of a "sleeper spot." Cal Fire says these can include tree stumps and roots. Dry conditions can fan these sleeper spots, igniting surrounding vegetation.
Cal Fire says they will continue to monitor, respond to and suppress these smokes as they arise. They will also continue to use the Alert Wildfire camera network for early and critical intel on wildfires.
Cal Fire is reminding residents to be alert to the conditions around them and report anything they think is suspicious.