‘Grim' Outlook for Upcoming Wildfire Season

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Grim. That's how a group of local fire experts are now describing the upcoming wildfire season.

San Jose State University's Fire Weather Research Laboratory issued the ominous warning Monday morning.

Right now, fire experts are sampling the moisture in plants to help determine the potential risk for this year's fire season. It's not looking good.

"This is a standard test that is done across the state by a number of different agencies," SJSU Professor Craig Clements said. "It gives us an idea of the moisture content. That moisture content relates to how hot the fires will burn, how easy they are going to burn and spread."

Moisture in plants is usually at its highest point in April, but because there has been so little rain over the winter, plants are not even growing.

"The fact that they're not reaching what they typically reach in April, which is their highest moisture content when the plants really start blooming and growing, is indicative of something that can be really drastic this summer," Clements said.

The rain may pick back up by May, but Cal Fire is not taking any chances.

"We've already conducted 1,215 inspections in Santa Clara County," Chuck Carroll with Cal Fire said. "Normally we don't start doing those inspections until late May, early June.'

People can visit readyforwildfire.org to find out how they can prepare their homes for fire season.

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