Traditionally, fire season in Southern California ran from about the beginning of May through the end of November.
But not anymore.
Last year, for example, the Lilac Fire that swept through large parts of Bonsall, charring about 4,100 acres and destroying 157 structures, was sparked on the morning of Dec. 7.
“It really is a year-round season,” said Cal Fire and County Fire Authority Chief Tony Mecham.
Fire officials and San Diego Gas & Electric are girding for what could be a blistering fire season. A dry winter, lingering drought conditions and chronic growth of brush around homes in the backcountry have raised worries as summer approaches.
“I’m concerned every day that despite all the great work that we’ve done we’re only one bad day away from a major event,” said SDG&E president Scott Drury.
Since Oct. 1, San Diego International Airport has recorded just 3.32 inches of rain, which is 6.70 inches below normal. Last year at this time, San Diego recorded 12.61 inches of precipitation.