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Excessive Heat Expected To Raise West Coast Fire Risk

Areas of Northern California and Southern Oregon are expected to reach well over 100 degrees this week, causing especially dangerous wildfire conditions.

Since the weekend, half-a-dozen wildfires have broken out around the region, including in the Fremont-Winema and Shasta-Trinity National Forests. On top of that, exceptionally high temperatures and possible lightning are expected as soon as Tuesday.

Cheryl Buliavac is with CalFire. She says these factors put the entire region at severe risk for wildfire this week.

"Hot temperatures and dry conditions to already extremely distressed and dry vegetation is not a good combination," Buliavac said. "So that means that the fire risk is very high and that’s something everyone needs to be concerned and very aware of.”

Buliavac says current fire risk is at a level typically seen in late August. She advises people to not always wait until the very last minute to evacuate, if they feel leaving earlier than mandated is a safer choice. Mostly, she encourages people to start drafting their evacuation plans now.

Issac Sanchez, also with CalFire, says people need to be proactive about the increasing fire risk.

“We can’t wait until things get hotter. We can’t wait until things get drier," Sanchez said. "CalFire as an agency and other fire departments across the state of California have been preparing for this nonstop. And we need the public to kind of take on that attitude and maintain that vigilance.”

CalFire officials encourage locals to consistently check their neighborhood risk status and be prepared to evacuate.