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Fire Season/Fire Tips

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has declared Monday as the official start to this year's fire season and has boosted staffing in response.

According to Cal Fire, the agency "transitioned into fire season" May 19 in Mendocino County, after beginning fire season a week earlier in most of Northern California.

As of this week, all 10 Cal Fire Mendocino Unit fire stations will be open and staffed for emergencies, including the Ukiah Air Attack Base and the Howard Forest Helitack Base near Willits.

"We have been increasing our staffing levels since January as drought conditions have continued to leave our region in an elevated threat for wildfires," said Chief Keith Larkin, Northern Region Chief for Cal Fire.

Already this year, Cal Fire responded to more than 1,500 wildfires, more than twice the average amount. With fire season officially underway, the agency is asking homeowners to prepare their properties by:

Maintaining 100 feet of defensible space

Clearing all pine needles and leaves from yards, roofs and rain gutters

Trimming branches six feet from the ground

Using fire resistant/drought tolerant plants in landscaping

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