2013 fire season could be worst in years, fire officials warn residents


For local firefighters, the dry vegetation in the Angeles National Forest is already causing concern.

"If you look around the grass and the fine fuels, after the last wind event about three weeks ago, that changed green to brown within days, and we're getting small working fires, maybe up to 5 to 10 acres, almost every day," said L.A. County Fire Assistant Chief Dean McGuire.

Officials say early indications are conditions are going to get worse.

"We're seeing fuel moisture levels that we normally see in June, we're seeing now in late April early May," said Nathan Judy, an Angeles National Forest official.

Officials are taking steps to try and prevent huge brushfires, like the Station Fire that caused massive damage a few years ago. The Angeles National Forest has raised the fire danger level from moderate to high.

"As we get into the season and its drier and drier, and then warmer and warmer, we're going to have a lot more productivity in fires," said McGuire.

Forest visitors will still be allowed to have open wood and charcoal fires in approved campground areas but officials want everyone to be aware of the danger.

"You don't park on top of dry grass, you don't throw your cigarette butt out of the windows, you don't leave your campfire unattended. Anything to do with fire, you want to make sure that you're very careful with right now, this time of season and into the summer," said Judy.

Officials are also reminding home owners of the importance of brush clearance around property.

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