Southland bracing for an active fire season

HEMET, Calif. - Cal Fire officials say they're ready for a busy fire season. But they want to make sure the public is also prepared.

Friday, Cal Fire used the Ryan Air Attack Base in Hemet to get its message out.

"We ask, we beg the residents of Riverside County to maintain 100 feet of clearance around their structures. We'll bring the offense. We need the citizens help to bring the defense -- to do the 100 feet of clearance," urged Cal Fire Riverside Unit Chief John Hawkins.

Cal Fire has a "Ready, Set, Go" plan.

Be ready with defensible space -- get set with an emergency plan -- and go -- evacuate early if a fire is getting close.

"The number of ignitions so far this year are three times higher than they have been for this time of year," said Cal Fire Southern Region Chief Dale Hutchinson. "We're looking at a lot drier landscape this year than previous years."

The danger is already here -- the fires will come. And Cal Fire warns fire crews can't always do it alone.

Those living in fire-prone areas play a key role in preventing loss of life and property from wildfires.

"The one thing that is predictable is that California will have a fire season and it will be worse than anyone wants because someone's home will burn and that's an unfortunate thing," said Hawkins.

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