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Mount Shasta Herald - Mount Shasta, CA
  • Dry winter weather puts firefighters on alert

  • A Jan. 16 joint press release from CAL FIRE and the Klamath National Forest urges residents to take the same fire safety precautions you take in the summer.
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  • Normally this is the time of year when notices are issued reminding residents to be prepared for winter weather conditions.
    Instead, it's so dry that US Forest Service and CAL FIRE officials are asking the public to remain informed of current weather conditions and take the same precautions you take during summer.
    A joint press release from CAL FIRE and the Klamath National Forest notes that several fires that got started in the last few weeks in Siskiyou County were kept small because of quick response from fire agencies.
    Local firefighting personnel have been dispatched to aid in the large wildfire fighting effort in the Angeles National Forest, according to the release. It states, "Though CAL FIRE has year-round staffing in many areas, current conditions warrant additional staffing to meet the increased threat of wildfire."
    The release points out that many locations across Northern California had the driest calendar year on record in 2013.
    Now it's more than halfway through January, normally the wettest month of the year, and little precipitation has fallen in 2014.
    Firefighting officials recommend that, when burning, "have a permit, and take steps to ensure proper clearance around your pile, have a water source and don't burn on windy days.
    "Please be extremely careful with anything that can cause a spark. Anyone using equipment, like mowers, should be aware of their surroundings. A loose trailer chain can start multiple fires along roadsides. Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained with nothing dragging on the ground. Check tire pressures and maintain vehicle brakes. Driving on an exposed rim throws sparks. A small flame can get out of control very quickly. Please report all fires or any suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1."
    More fire safety information is available at: www.preventwildfireca.org

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