OC fire officials warn of peak wildfire season

SANTIAGO CANYON, Calif. (KABC) -- Orange County fire authorities warned the community Wednesday about the upcoming peak of wildfire season.

A news conference was held near Irvine Lake, where firefighters often stage during the many wildfires that happen in the area. While the rains helped the drought, it's also created more fuel for flames.

"This area turns hot, it turns windy and fires get out of control," said Todd Spitzer with the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The Orange County Fire Authority said wildfire season is now year-round and they're fully staffed with people and equipment in preparation. Firefighters are also partnering with the sheriff's department and Orange County Parks to do as much as they can to stop fires before they even start.

"Our staff and volunteers spend thousands of hours each year removing non-native plants to restore habitat and reduce wildfire risk," said Jonathan Nicks with OC Parks.

Fire Authority officials want to remind the community to create defensible space around their homes. They also want people to keep a close eye on their barbecues and lawn mowers while watching for possible arsonists.

"We'd like to ask for a public call to action to report suspicious persons, behavior and vehicles that are not familiar to the area," Lt. Jeff Puckett said

Fire officials also want people to have and practice an evacuation plan in the event a fire comes near their home.
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