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San Diego preparing for fire season as drought conditions worsen

Posted at 6:05 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 21:05:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As fire season approaches for California, the state’s drought status is worsening.

In San Diego, only 4.44” of rain have fallen since the water year started Oct. 1, which is well below the 9.42” that is normal for that time frame. This means San Diego is down 4.98” currently.

The state’s drought monitor, which is updated once a week, shows the drought status for all California counties. The most recent map shows San Diego is currently in moderate drought, with a large part of the state in the extreme or exceptional drought category, which are the worst.

Governor Gavin Newsom recently declared drought status for a total of 41 of the 58 counties. San Diego County is not currently on that list.

RELATED: California expands drought emergency to large swath of state

These dry conditions could be a recipe for a bad fire year.

“We always hope for the best but obviously we’re prepared to attack all fires aggressively like we always have,” said Cal Fire San Diego Public Information Officer and Fire Captain Frank Lococo.

Lococo said last year was a record-breaking year for fires in the state with more than four million acres burned, and this year has already seen 700 more fires than the same time frame last year.

Sunday brought some clouds and light rain to San Diego County, but he said days like that won’t have a major impact on preventing wildfires. He did say that cool and cloudy days can be great for making defensible space.

“Remove woodpiles away from the house, clean the furniture on your deck, leaves in the gutters and that sort of thing are great ways during these mild weather days to take advantage and get ahead of the game before peak wildfire season,” he said.

Cal Fire has a list of good preparation steps to take on their website.