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Fire threat increases after recent freeze


Last updated 2/15/2007 at Noon

FALLBROOK — North County Fire Protection District advises residents of an increased fire threat due to the very dry weather being experienced in the Greater Fallbrook Area.

“We haven’t had any significant rain at all this season,” said John Buchanan. “January was supposed to be one of the wettest months and we just got a drop in the bucket. Much attention was focused on a developing El Niño, which should mean wet weather. However, the El Niño is now fizzling.”

Buchanan said that because the recent hard freeze killed substantial foliage on a large number of trees, the community will face an even greater fire threat than usual.

“Lots of avocado groves are either dead or dying,” said Buchanan. “Firefighters would normally use those groves as a fire break, but now they become a problem because they represent lots of standing dead fuel – trees full of dead leaves just wait for a spark to ignite.

“The ornamental vegetation around many homes is dead or dying and we now have a huge amount of fuel right next to structures. As the wind blows the next few weeks, the dead leaves will come off the trees and pile up again structures.

“I want to make a personal and professional plea to everyone to be extraordinarily careful and fire-safe during this dangerous period of time.”


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