California Prepares for Record-Setting Wildfire Season, With 1 Million Acres Already Burned

Los Angeles officials are urging residents to prepare for wildfire season after active fires have already burned over 1 million acres across California.

On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez spoke about the start of wildfire season and the wildfires the state is currently facing.

"Fire season is here, and that means we all have a role to play," Garcetti said at the press conference. "This year we're seeing more of the ingredients that fuel fires, that sustain wildfires: high temperatures, dry weather, strong winds."

Garcetti continued, "There's no question how destructive and dangerous wildfires are, which is why we all need to be prepared during this fire season, and each play a role in protecting our families and our city."

Garcetti went on to urge Los Angeles residents to do their part in minimizing wildfire risk by clearing out brush around their homes. "This should be a year-round enterprise, now that fires are year-round as well," he said.

The mayor also said residents should digitize their important documents and set up a "family plan" for evacuation orders.

The wildfire season in Southern California usually begins in October and runs through December, but the northern part of the state is already battling numerous active wildfires.

During the press conference, Terrazas said, "Northern California has multiple large brush fires burning. In fact, the frequency of these fires is outpacing last year's record-breaking season, which saw over 4 million acres burned."

He went on, "Therefore, it's now more critical than ever that the people of Southern California become prepared for wildfires. Once again, this summer we are facing a significant brush fire season, but the peak of our Southern California brush fire season is still to come—during the months of November and December."

Captain Erik Scott, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, made similar comments during the press conference, saying that California is on "on path to surpass that record"—set in 2020—when over 4 million acres burned.

As Terrazas noted, parts of Northern California have been facing numerous active wildfires. There are currently 11 active wildfires across California, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center, and they have burned 1,309,959 acres.

California's Dixie Fire is the largest active fire in the state and the second largest in state history. It has burned over 730,000 acres and is just 41 percent contained.

Newsweek reached out to Garcetti's office for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Dixie Fire
Los Angeles officials are urging residents to prepare for wildfire season. Above, a wildfire crew battles flames as the Dixie Fire pushes through the Genesee Valley on August 21 in Genesee, California. Allison Dinner/Getty