BAKERSFIELD, CA - Fire season starts Monday and county firefighters are urging homeowners to be prepared. They say you have until June 15th to clear dry brush away from your home if you live in rural areas or you could face a fine.
Firefighters say they fight grass fires year round, but with summer approaching they expect bigger fires and drier conditions.
"If we get compliance from everyone we can spread resources out, get a jump on the fire where we aren't focused on specific properties, trying to save them while other properties aren't getting attention," said Corey Wilford, Kern County Fire Department.
During fire season, Wilford says more crews will be ready to fight fires from two fronts, the air and the ground.
"You'll get an engine, four patrols, multiple battalion chiefs. You're going to get air resources such as helicopters and air tankers, water tenders, hand crews, things of that nature. So, just a lot more people on the ground to deal with fires that can go bigger," Wilford continued.
Wilford says some of the biggest fires happen in the summer when conditions are drier.
"It gets really hot here. We do have those times in the summer where it gets extremely hot and you're breaking 100 degree temperatures, and when you have days like that it gives the fuel a chance to pre-heat and makes it combust that much easier," he added.
Firefighters say clearing unwanted brush around your home and maintaining your trees, helps significantly if a fire is approaching.
"Limbing your tress up, keeping them ten feet away from your house, makes a huge difference. It prevents fuels, a ground fire from reaching the lighter fuels which obviously makes fires bigger and spread things a little easier," Wilford added.