The wet weather from the rain and snow here has been giving our local firefighters a chance to start preparing for the next wildfire season.
Even though you can still see tons of snow on the streets of Forest Ranch, Cal Fire is using the very element they fight in the summer as a tool in the winter.
"Fire is not necessarily a bad thing depending on how it is used so we are trying to use it in a good, proactive and helpful way," said Rick Carhart, Cal Fire Public Information Officer.
Crews are lighting the undergrowth on fire to actually help prevent future fires from sparking this summer.
This week several crews worked in Butte Creek Canyon to protect the communities of both Forest Ranch and the Upper Ridge in Magalia.
"The area is prone to fire there is are lot of fuels, a lot of dense forest, a fire is going to occur eventually," said Tim Bradley, Bureau of Land Management.
"If it happens, if fire comes through this area later this year that there won't be as much fuel in the area. The fire won't be as intense and you know it could even save the forest," said Carhart.
These efforts to save the forest is just one of the things on their daily agenda during both on and off peak fire season as Cal Fire crews work year round.
"Whether there it is hot and dry or there is 5 feet of snow on the ground," said Carhart.
Cooler weather makes for perfect conditions to start controlled burns.
"The wind is light, its cool. The humidity is up and the rain is coming so these piles aren't going to smolder for a long time so we try to pick days like this that we can do it safely so that we're not causing a problem," said Carhart.
Cal Fire plans to do these types of controlled burns until the beginning of spring all to prepare for wildfire season.
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