San Diego

Fire Conditions Expected to be Far Worse This Year: Cal Fire

Even urban and coastal areas are at risk for wildfires, Cal Fire says

Fire season in San Diego is just beginning and already, Cal Fire is warning this year could be one of the worst yet.

Rural areas are not the only places at risk -- urban and coastal communities are too.

The reason, according to Cal Fire, is the wild grass that has sprouted all over San Diego County.

“We had a lot of rain and so we’ve got the grass and those fine fuels,” said Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham. “They’re very receptive to ignitions this year.”

As of May 20, there has been 921 fires statewide, with 14,898 acres burned. At the same time last year, there were 844 fires across the state, with 1,729 acres burned. That’s a difference in 13,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.

“If we have weather like we’ve had this week, in the 90s, we’re going to have fires,” Mecham said.

The abundance of wild grass means communities typically at low risk for fires, could be at a much greater risk this year.

Those communities could include Solana Beach, Mount Soledad and Mission Valley.

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