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Los Padres Early Fires May Foreshadow an Active Fire Season

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March 12, 2012 08:50PM
Los Padres Early Fires May Foreshadow an Active Fire Season
Release Date: Mar 12, 2012
Contact(s): Andrew Madsen (805) 961-5759, Joe Pasinato (805) 961-5745

SANTA BARBARA, CA…Los Padres firefighters quashed a 10-acre wildland fire Friday afternoon near Rancho Oso, the latest of a dozen fires requiring a response from Los Padres crews since Jan. 1. The string of early season firestarts have all been contained on initial attack. However, as vegetation moisture levels hover near critical thresholds there is growing concern these extremely dry conditions may herald an active 2012 fire season.

“The live fuel moisture levels are what we typically see on the forest in mid summer,” said Los Padres Fire Chief Anthony Escobar. “Right now we have just enough of a green component from what little rain we’ve had this year that these fires haven’t been able to get up and run.

“We won’t have that much longer.”

On Friday’s Yellow Jacket Fire, Los Padres crews were assisted by the Angeles, Cleveland, San Bernardino, Sequoia and Sierra, Sequoia National Forests, Santa Barbara County and City fire departments, the Vandenberg Hotshots, Ventura County Fire, and Calfire. The unexpected precipitation that fell across the county late Saturday night also assisted in extinguishing the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Los Padres officials are talking with local citizens and encouraging communities adjacent to the forest to exercise extreme caution, especially when gusty winds, low relative humidity, and high temperatures are prevailing. Current information is available at Los Padres offices.

“The message we’re sharing with the public is we all need to take extra precautions in the forest when conditions are so dry,” said Los Padres Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez. “It's important to recognize that fires can occur at any time of the year and we need to keep our guard up year round.”

Los Padres Early Fires May Foreshadow an Active Fire Season

Rick2362March 12, 2012 08:50PM

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