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When Is Fire Season in California?


From beautiful landscapes to mild weather, California is loved by residents and travelers alike. Unfortunately, with its summer heat and dry fall winds, California also falls victim to a severe fire season, and with climate change, the prevalence of ravaging wildfires has only increased.

At Foothill Fire Protection, we educate Californians on the basics of fire season, including duration and areas most affected, wildfire spread mechanisms, and the importance of fire protection and safety measures.

Duration and Timing of California’s Fire Season

California’s fire season can start as early as May, with the season’s peak falling from July to October. However, the most catastrophic fires historically have happened in September and October. During these months, vegetation is dry from the excessive heat of summer, and as fall’s dry winds begin to blow, there is an explosive effect. Issues like drought, overgrowth, and rising temperatures due to climate change all exacerbate these issues.

According to Cal Fire, the five-year average of acres burned during California’s fire season is almost 1.25 million. With thousands of fires occurring in the span of only four or five months and even more families being forced to evacuate their homes, it’s clear that the severity of these wildfires will continue to impact California residents significantly.

Areas Most Affected by Wildfires

According to the newest Fire Hazard Severity Zone map from Cal Fire, areas with the most wildfire risk tend to lie in the Northeastern areas of the state. While some southern counties may show substantial risk, the vast majority of high-risk counties are in the hotter and drier areas of the state with greater agriculture and vegetation and enough population density to impact spread.

The coastal range of Northern California is a high-risk area and experienced the largest wildfire in state history, the August Complex Fire, while the second largest fire, the Dixie Fire, raged throughout Butte County. As California’s climate changes and drought continue to be a state issue, these fires will continue to impact many Northern California homeowners. 

How Wildfires Spread

Once a wildfire starts, it can very quickly spread through direct flame contact, flying embers, and fire spotting. In addition, the weather can significantly influence wildfire behavior. The higher the temperatures, the drier the environment becomes through evaporation, leaving behind literal fuel for fires.

When paired with wind, this lack of moisture can create a dangerous effect, as wind will supply the fire with oxygen, dry out potential fuel, and push the fire to spread in many directions. Wildfires are difficult for firefighters to control and contain because of their quick spread and frequent lack of detection.

Foothill Fire Protection Services Are Here To Help

To protect your home from California’s fire season, trust Foothill Fire Protection. Our reputable fire protection company provides various fire safety products to residents of California, including fire alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers, pumps, and suppression systems and services, including maintenance and emergency repair.

We prioritize our client’s needs and safety and can design and implement custom fire protection solutions to keep you and your family safe during wildfire season. 

To ensure you’re safe this California wildfire season, trust the professionals at Foothill Fire Protection. Call our experts today to discuss how we can improve your safety at (916) 663-3582 or contact us online!

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Had a leaking sprinkler head in my bedroom and had to turn off house water due to too much mess. Called a few other local businesses only to find out they don’t do residential, found foothill fire prote...

-Redline M, Roseville

I work in commercial property management, and let me tell you this: My owner is particular in the vendors we use for our many properties. They have to work hard, follow through, communicate effectively, s...

-Amanda S, Sacramento

If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. Today was my move-in date at my newly purchased condo. As the movers were packing up my things to bring over, an electrical fire started at the new home. Needle...

-Jennifer M, Lincoln

I’ve had the pleasure of having Scott come to my home twice now under a not so good circumstance but he’s such a terrific guy that his visit almost makes it worth it. (I said almost, Scott) Anyways, S...

-Bridget H, Auburn

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