SANTA CRUZ (KPIX 5) — Following some of the worst wildfires in state history, Cal Fire is warning that burn scars in and around the Bay Area are not immune to burning once again this summer, in what is expected to be a long and dangerous wildfire season.
“We did not create moonscape with all of these fires. There is a lot of pockets of vegetation that just didn’t burn because when you have such large-scale, it almost makes a mosaic,” Cal Fire Deputy Chief Mike Marcucci told KPIX 5.READ MORE: Gas Leak In San Francisco's Inner Richmond Prompts Shelter-In-Place, Evacuations
“Some of the area was burned to mineral soil, others weren’t even really touched,” he explained.
Deputy Chief Marcucci said lower-than-average winter rainfall has transformed Northern California into a tinderbox.
“We’re one spark away from another disastrous fire,” he said.
Statewide, Marcucci said Cal Fire has already responded to more than 2,000 fires, roughly double the amount of fire activity during the same time last year.READ MORE: Newsom Signs Executive Order On Workplace Pandemic, Mask Rules Following Cal/OSHA Vote
“There’s still a lot of dead trees that haven’t been removed,” said Jeannette Webber who lives in Napa County.
And while water might be in short supply, she says there’s concern and fatigue about the upcoming fire season in abundance.
“I work with someone who nearly lost her house, and she is on some acreage. The surrounding properties around her were lost,” she said.
Cal Fire is urging residents to act now to lessen the risk of fire to their homes. They’re encouraging residents to create defensible space around their homes, thin brush and vegetation on their property and have an evacuation plan ready.
This fire season, they warn, is likely to be long, dry and very dangerous.MORE NEWS: Bay Area, NorCal Heatwave May Break Records; 'Potentially Life-Threating' Central Valley Temps
“I can see the difference because I come across country. I come from an area that’s very lush and green. When you fly into California, you can truly see how dry everything is,” says Jennifer Pattinson who grew up in San Jose and was visiting her hometown from North Carolina.