Concern over dangerous fire season grows after deadly Kern County fire

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Back in the Bay Area there's concern the fire in Kern County is a bad omen of a busy summer fire season. (KGO-TV)

In the Bay Area there's concern the fire in Kern County is a bad omen of a busy summer fire season.

There's an effort underway to make sure homeowners are taking fire prevention seriously.

"To be in June and see such destruction, to see such a fire with such rage and speed is disconcerting. It's only June, we have several more months until the peak of fire season," said Cal Fire public information officer Daniel Berlant.

It's a reminder for those in the East Bay to start mowing grass to keep fire clearance in compliance with local laws.

"With a year like this year it kept raining and the weeds grew back and the fire departments in the cities, they just want you to maintain three inches or less on your lots to satisfy fire the department regulations," said Ken Tamplen of Ken's Rototilling and Weedcutting.

In one Martinez neighborhood, fire officials are mailing a letter to one property owner whose land is not mowed properly. If they don't get it done in the next two weeks, the county will do the work and bill the owner.

"Everyone gets complacent until it happens in their neighborhood and then the tensions are up," said Ryan Bain of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

"This year the trees and bushes seem to be pretty green, but the grass is really high and as soon as they get dry it's a really dangerous fire situation," Tamplen said.

Temperatures getting up into the 90s and even into the 100s next week, combined with low humidity or winds could spell trouble. And fire engines need clearance to do their job.
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