Big Bear Lake, CA, July 31, 2012, 3:00pm – The National Weather Service has reported some areas of California received up to 20 fewer inches of rain than expected during the period between October 2011 and June 2012, making it one of the driest so-called rainy seasons on record. California’s below-average rainfall causes green grass and plant life to dry out faster than usual, and when combined with high summer temperatures, this greatly increases the risk of wildfires. The Department of Forestry & Fire Protection has increased staffing and urges residents to educate themselves about fire preparedness. Here are some tips to help prepare for the next few months:

Create a fire buffer zone of at least 30 feet around houses. Replace exterior flammable materials on homes with siding and roofs that have at least a fire-resistance rating of one to two hours. Move flammable and combustible items at least 50 feet away from your home. Keep irrigation systems in working order.  Have your pool accessible for fire engines to get within 10 feet. Pools can serve as a water source for fighting fires. Have your home address visible from the street so emergency crews can quickly identify your home during an emergency.   

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