Sacramento—CAL FIRE firefighters are staffing up and preparing for the forecasted extreme fire weather across California. The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings and fire weather watches for areas of northern, central and southern California. This will likely be the strongest offshore wind event so far this season.

“With some of the most destructive and deadliest fires occurring October through December, we need Californians to not be complacent. Wind-driven fires move fast, and residents need to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice in the event of a wildfire,” said Chief Thom Porter, CAL FIRE director. “We have increased our staffing, but need the public to remain vigilant. It is important to follow evacuation orders and leave early as fires move very fast under these conditions.”

This week, being Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to make sure your family has emergency supplies and an evacuation plan. The tragic fires that occurred around this time last year should serve as a reminder for everyone to be ready for the unexpected.

With extreme fire danger conditions, some areas are seeing electricity being turned off by their utility companies preemptively. CAL FIRE is not involved in the decision making of when and where the power is turned off, or when the power will be turned back on when such conditions arise. The only time that CAL FIRE will request a power outage from a utility company is when there is an active wildfire around powerlines that firefighters are fighting. The power shut-off request will only be for within the fire area and this is to provide for the safety of firefighters within that area. Comments, questions or concerns about the current power outages should be directed toward your utility company.

CAL FIRE urges everyone to exercise extreme caution when in or near the wildland or open areas to prevent sparking a fire. A few helpful reminders and safety tips include:

  • Don’t mow or trim dry grass on windy days
  • Never pull your vehicle over in dry grass
  • Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal
  • Check and obey burn bans
  • Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely
  • Report any suspicious activities to prevent arson, see something – say something

To learn how you can be prepared for wildfires and evacuation steps, visit ReadyForWildfire.org and preventwildfireca.org.