Orange County Fire Authority warns wild blooms may intensify wildfires

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- The hills covered in yellow might look beautiful right now, but the Orange County Fire Authority warns when all this mustard dries up, it could mean more fuel for wildfires.

Breathtaking views of wild blooms taking over the hillsides of Southern California could soon turn into terrifying sights, leaving you breathless.

OCFA Public Information Officer Capt.Tony Bommarito said homeowners should do more than just take in the sights.

"It's a beautiful time right now. Enjoy this, but now is the time to prepare," he said.

Bommarito warned as days heat and dry up, this invasive mustard will go from yellow to to brown.

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The heavy rain may have made the last few weeks a bit gloomy, but the aftermath of all that precipitation is a super bloom of poppies in the Inland Empire.

"As this stuff starts drying out, you really want to make sure you stay ahead of the game. As you know, fire season is all year round, so we have to stay up on that. We don't want that potential. If we can have that fuel break around your home, we have a better chance of protecting it," Bommarito said.

Bommarito explained if a fire were to ignite within these stalks, it wouldn't necessarily mean it would be complete devastation like that of the Woolsey and Holy fires last year.

Bommarito said distance and underbrush play a major role in fire behavior.

"Because of what we call fuel continuity, there's so much space in between these, there's a potential that the fire can blow right through but not actually burn these things. In this particular example, we have all this ground fuel, so this is actually going to contribute to carry the fire," Bommarito said.

The OCFA captain said though nature can change things up, homeowners can give fire crews a hand with consistent preparation.

"Clear your house of this type of brush. You have all this brush growing behind me. If that stuff is around your house, now is the time to prepare your home," Bommarito said.

The OCFA has more information online on how to best clear up the wild blooms growing around your property.
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