It’s the start of fire season and Californians, who have already seen their fair share up and down the state, have their eyes peeled for smoke in the sky.
California’s fire season typically begins in the month of September and can last through April. In the past couple years the state has seen wet winters, which provided full green brush throughout much of its open spaces. However, as spring and summer progress, the brush begins to dry out leaving nothing but effective fire fuel.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, there has been around 6,000 fires, so far in 2019, that has burnt nearly 200,000 acres.
The Saddle Ridge fire, off the 210 freeway near the city of Sylmar, began on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 10. There have been over 1,000 personnel assigned to the task of putting the flames out.
Multiple agencies are involved in the operations for fighting the Saddle Ridge fire. Such agencies include but are not limited to CAL FIRE LA, Los Angeles Police and Sheriff along with the American Red Cross.
As of today, the fire is responsible for the loss of one life, eight injuries and has managed to destroy 19 structures while leaving another 88 damaged. Consuming more than 8,799 acres of land and is currently 97% contained.
For students that live in areas where fire hazards are at a high, it is important to make sure the proper measures are taken to be prepared. Have an emergency kit and first aid kit packed. Search your home’s boundaries for possible hazards and ensure all home smoke detectors are operational. Have an escape route and an emergency plan set in place. Contact local agencies for risk levels and information.
For those living in areas prone to wildfires, it is important to keep a watchful eye out for any kind of sign that a fire may be near by.
Orange County isn’t exempt from wildfires. Last year, the Santiago Fire claimed more than 150 acres of fields off highway 241, as well as the Aliso Fire which burned upwards of 170 acres.
Students located out of wildfire areas should still remain vigilant at home for fire prevention.