Officials warn residents about dry conditions and rising temperatures

A fire warning sign sits out in front of Placerita Canyon Nature Center on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

As the Santa Clarita Valley experiences rising temperatures and drier conditions, brush fires are more likely to flare up, according to officials with the National Weather Service.

“Especially after a wet season like the one we had this past winter, there are more finer fuels or vegetation for fires to work with,” said Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Finer fuels describe vegetation that have smaller width, such as grasses, that dry out faster and catch fire quicker.

According to Munroe, National Weather Service officials will evaluate vegetation conditions, relative humidity, winds and temperatures to assess possible fire conditions.

“The lower the humidity, the dryer the fine fuels in particular would be on a given day,” Munroe said. “Wind may transport the fire as well as help ventilate the flames.”

Fire Captain Jeff Ford and other firefighters from multiple stations in SCV have been inspecting homes in areas identified as a hazard to prepare for the possibility of summer fires.

“It gives us some defensible space,” he said. “We look at it with the worse possible scenario in mind, which is how would this particular property do in the event of a fire.”

A few weeks ago, a man was using a weed whipper with a metal blade to clear brush around his home after being told by fire officials to do so.

The man’s blade hit a rock and sparked a small spot fire off of Seco Canyon Road.

“If it can cause a spark, you should be extra careful,” Cpt. Ford said.

Ford encourages residents to remain vigilant in wild land areas, especially during the upcoming fire season.

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