Nine wildfires so far in 2014 in Northern California
We’re not even a week into the new year and there have been nine wildfires in the Humboldt/Del Norte area. Cal Fire officials say this has been the most dangerous winter for wildfires in recent history.
Weather officials say historically dry weather in the region is why there have been nine wildfires in just six days."Anytime you're this dry, you really get concerned about wildfires," said Ryan Aylward, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Eureka.
The Battalion Chief of the Cal Fire office in Fortuna, Chief Bob Ellis, says this winter is anything but typical.
"It’s the first one I've seen quite like this. Usually we've got plenty of water flowing around here," said Chief Ellis.
Wildfire season typically starts at the end of spring, so all of the seasonal Cal Fire responders are currently laid off. This means Cal Fire must rely on outside help, from local agencies to firefighters from as far as Napa County.
"It just takes a lot longer to get enough people at the fire to really make an impact on it," Chief Ellis said.
The Red Wildfire is expected to be completely contained by Thursday, leaving no more fires burning in the region. Fire officials urge you to try to keep it that way by following these steps if burning anything outside.
"You need to make sure that you have water available to fight the fire. That you have tools available and that somebody is in attendance of the fire at all times," said Chief Ellis.
Fire officials remind you that dry weather is the main cause of wildfires, and just because it’s cold does not mean wildfires can’t start.
With storm systems expected to move into the area this week, cal fire officials say this should only help with containment.
Are extra patrols needed in other outlying areas of the county?