The triangle is a helpful tool when surveying our own fire risk

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The fire season started early and is already keeping firefighters busy.

The lack of rain during the 2013-2014 rainy season combined with the two previous dry years, added up to critical fire conditions.

Most fires require three elements to ignite: fuel, oxygen and heat. This is illustrated as a fire triangle. Removing one of the elements will extinguish or prevent fires. The triangle is a helpful tool when surveying our own fire risk.

When we look at our current year, there is plenty of dry brush for fuel due to the drought. Winds can help to further dry vegetation making it prime for catching fire and quickly spreading. Clearing dry brush can help to minimize this spreading.

Oxygen is present naturally in our atmosphere.

Finally, heat is especially common during the late spring and through the summer.

The National Weather Service will issue Red Flag Warnings when critical fire conditions are present. This includes poor overnight humidity recovery, gusty dry winds and warm temperatures. When these warnings are issued, residents need to be vigilant about activity that may spark flames.

The fire season usually ends in October when regular rain returns to the state.

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