Fire threat continues for Kern County this winter

Even though it's December, fire conditions persist

Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall says there are a few main factors driving the fires burning in California: dry conditions, fuel for the fire, no rain and wind. All of these combined are creating a huge issue for firefighters tackling the multiple fires burning in Southern California. 

Here in Kern County, there are almost identical conditions, however no fires have broken out yet. If a fire were to spark, it has the potential to spread quickly. 

Even though the drought is over, dry brush still remains. This is creating fuel for the fire. Adding to this problem is the lack of rain. California should have already seen rain by this time of year, however there have been no big rain storms, meaning conditions are dryer than usual. 

Chief Marshall says Kern County has a high risk of fires breaking out because of all these conditions.

"You don't need a 110 degree August summer day. The conditions are ripe right now for a major wild land fire to strike Kern County and burn hundreds of homes," said Chief Marshall.

He says there are many tricks the public can use to make sure they are not sparking any fires. 

He says as usual, never throw a cigarette butt out the window. In addition, drivers should remain on concrete if they pull over. If they drive onto dry grass, their hot car could spark a flame. Also, cars should not drag any chains or metal.

"That chain strikes the pavement, creates sparks. The sparks land in the dry grass and then we have a wild land fire," he said.

This risk will continue until California gets heavy rain. However, as Chief Marshall says, wildfire season is year round in California.

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