Cal Fire has already responded to 500 more fires in the first four months of this year than it did in the same period last year. The department is likely to declare fire season in the northern part of California next week.
Last year, U.S. Forest Service crews cleared nearly 200,000 acres of potential fire fuel. Jeanne Wade Evans with the Service says fires threaten more than homes and property. Half of the water the state uses runs through national forests.
WADE EVANS: "Dealing with this wildfire issue is critical to maintaining that flow -downstream flow- and maintaining the health of our forests."
In January, The Public Utilities Commission strengthened restrictions on power line usage to prevent power lines from starting fires. In April, the National Guard trained 2500 soldiers to fight fires.