The National Interagency Fire Center's annual fire season forecast says two stretches are especially dangerous: the Sierra region from Lassen County… south through Tahoe… and into Kern County; and the Coastal region from Monterey to San Diego.
Richard Hadley with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it's easy to compare last year …when much of the Sierra was still snowed-in… to this year.
HADLEY: "That 5,000-to-7,000-foot range where the heaviest snowpack usually is? Well, most of the winter, there was no snow. And then when we did get the precipitation in March, it was high-elevation snow, and so we didn't get the snow pack at that time either."
Low rainfall totals are already evident in dry grasses at low elevations. The fire risk will increase in higher elevations as the weather gets warmer.
Cal Fire has responded to a thousand fires already this year, which is above average.