LOS ANGELES — Southern California is facing a potentially treacherous wildfire season this year, as climate change, drought and extreme heat conspire to bake vegetation and prime the landscape for burning, officials say.
Standing beneath the blazing sun at the start of a triple-digit heat wave, fire officials from various state, county and federal agencies gathered in Los Angeles on Thursday to warn residents about the current conditions and what the coming months may hold.
“We know the drought is here. We know the fuels are flammable. We know now, with water restrictions, the vegetation around our homes are becoming flammable,” said Dustin Gardner, chief of the Ventura County Fire Department. “So we know the threat is here, and we know the threat is real.”