Northern California counties exit fire season; SoCal gets no relief



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LOS ANGELES — Recent rain and winter weather have eased the wildfire dangers enough that state officials will declare the end of the fire season Monday for three Northern California counties.

No such luck for Southern California, however.

Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties have a reduced risk of suffering a fast-moving wildfire and will exit the fire season along with Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, Lassen and Modoc counties, which exited their fire seasons this week, said CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

“Because of the rain, fires are unlikely to become gigantic, huge wildfires,” Berlant said.

The designation changes little for CalFire or residents as a whole, Berlant said. Instead, the change influences mandatory precautions that agencies, like a utility company, have to take when working in or around vegetation, Berlant said.

Though the weather has provided some level of relief for Northern California, the bottom half of the state hasn’t been as fortunate.

“The fire season in Southern California never ended,” Berlant said. “Unless we get a substantial amount of rain in December, it’s unlikely that Southern California will transition out of fire season this year.”

So far in 2014, CalFire crews have fought more than 5,500 wildfires, about 1,000 more than normal.

Story by Joseph Serna of Los Angeles Times

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