The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Friday announced it has increased firefighter staffing in preparation for several days of Santa Ana winds and extreme fire conditions.

A fire danger warning in Southern California. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Fire danger warnings are in effect through Sunday in parts Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties, and the “Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index” is showing a “high” category for many areas, according to Cal Fire.

“Traditionally, late September through mid-November is Santa Ana season,” Cal Fire Southern Region Director Chief Thom Porter said.

“Many of California’s largest and most damaging wildfires coincide with this time of year,” Porter said.

With the heightened fire danger and increased potential for new fires, Cal Fire has placed additional firefighters on duty to staff extra equipment and aircraft across the state, said Chief Ken Pimlott.

“We have increased our staffing, but need the public to be vigilant in reporting fires and follow the Ready, Set, Go principles,” Pimlott said. “It is important to follow evacuation orders and leave early as fires move very fast under these conditions, especially with the high level of tree mortality we are experiencing in many areas.”

Pimlott urged people to be extra cautious during the heightened fire danger period in order to prevent wildfires.

“One less spark means one less wildfire,” Pimlott said.

For more fire prevention tips and evacuation steps visit ReadyForWildfire.org.

— City News Service

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