South Bay residents and fire crews are on alert after three big fires erupted in San Jose last week.
All fires came dangerously close to homes, with two of them this past weekend in the eastern part of the city.
That's too close for comfort for the Richeys.
Fifth-grader Ethan Richey spent the past weekend helping his dad clear their yard of dead grass and weeds to be better prepared if another blaze erupts nearby.
"I'm afraid that sometimes a fire may catch here, it's possible nowadays," Ethan Richey said.
Cal Fire spent the Memorial Day holiday weekend reminding Californians now is the time to create defensible space by clearing out dry vegetation to protect their homes.
"Cut back all growth at least 100 feet. Keep it away from your house," San Jose Fire Department Capt. Fernando Munoz said. "If you don't need it, get rid of it."
Cal Fire numbers show the toll of the four-year drought: more than 1,400 fires statewide have broken out this year from January to mid-May.
That number was closer to 1,200 during the same period last year.
The five-year average is at 885 statewide fires.
"It tells me that stuff is dry and ready to go," Munoz said of state numbers.