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Winter Fires in California

It is now fire season year-round in California.

The latest round of fires that are burning right now in California highlights the fact that there isn't a fire season in that state. The hazard is year-round. There was a time when the winter months were for catching up on maintenance, updating plans and vacation time for tired crews. One of the ramifications of a warming climate is that earlier rains have stoked the fuels in Southern California and now with dry conditions and hurricane force winds, these fires will spread no matter what firefighters do.  

The latest fire is dangerously close to places in Los Angeles that many would not identify with being in a wildland hazard area, see Fire closes I-405, rages near Bel Air, Getty museum in Los Angeles.

FEMA staff were very glad to see Nov. 30 come, since it is the end of the hurricane season. I'm also sure that this California fire outbreak was not good news to staff who were perhaps just now getting back to their home offices in FEMA Region IX/9.

What will 2018 bring in the way of disasters?

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.