Early Start To California Fire Season

With the fast-approaching fire season, CAL FIRE says it's been working non-stop across the state trying to reduce large amounts of fuel.

Video Transcript

- The CBS 13 News at 5:00 starts now. And we start on fire watch today, red flag warnings in effect for the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley.

- High winds and dry conditions are keeping fire crews busy as several small fires spark across the region.

- In fact, crews just knocking down a grass fire that came pretty close to homes in Elk Grove this afternoon to burn 3 acres near Sheldon road and East Stockton Boulevard, maybe you saw the smoke. Tonight, many are wondering if these current conditions are a sign of what could be a long dry dangerous summer.

- CBS 13's Renee Santos is live at Discovery Park with the threat the drought brings, Renee.

RENEE SANTOS: Yeah, right now, even several hours after that fire broke out here at Discovery Park, crews are still working off in the distance. But I want to show you a hotspot that we found here at the park with the drought and current weather conditions. Cal Fire says the fire potential could last longer this season.

- The potential is there for it to be worse.

RENEE SANTOS: Sherry Sertori has watched the changes in the fire threat year after year. She worries this season will be more dangerous and last longer.

- I think they have to look at what's happening now and that's what our future is at this point.

RENEE SANTOS: According to predictive services, fire potential will likely increase in July in several parts of Northern California. And will continue into August with conditions growing above normal. Cal Fire says crews have been working across the state creating firebreaks. It's a year round effort with fire conditions lasting even longer throughout the year, creating more areas that are receptive to fires earlier in the year. Cal Fire adding, any time there is fuel to ignite fires, the threat is always there.

- There's no question about it. It's the reality that we are facing.

RENEE SANTOS: The threat of an even worse and longer fire season concerns Ophelia Alvarado. Just this morning, her husband was hosing down their property after a fire ignited not far from their cell Sacramento home.

- And I see flames really high.

RENEE SANTOS: She does her part maintaining her yard, creating defensible space in the event a fire occurs especially under the drier hotter conditions the state is facing.

- As dry as it is and as windy as it is, that's how fast something burns.

RENEE SANTOS: And there are still a few hot spots here at Discovery Park. You could see the inside of that branch there on the ground still smoldering. Cal Fire says they have been doing work to treat areas. So far this year, they've done more than 11,000 prescribed burns.

And as we're here at Discovery Park, you could see it happening. Right now, crews are still working, making sure that this fire is fully contained. But it is a good reminder to clear out any brush outside your home to make sure that that fire potential isn't present.

- Yeah, good look at crews still working out there as small as that fire was. Renee, thank you.