While there is a threat from wildfire for most of the year in Southern California, the fall season – notably from late September through mid-January is considered the most risky period of time. This is due to the Santa Ana winds, potential for very low humidity, and any other weather combination that would promote wildfire ignition.
MySafe:LA has been working on planning activities and outreach relative to this most dangerous period of time. To date, there haven’t been any measurable Santa Ana winds, and there was substantial rain during the first 90 days of the year. When those Santa Ana winds arrive, especially if the humidity is low (and it likely will be), all bets are off. Fuels that are moist and more fire resistant can be dried out within hours of a strong Santa Ana event – leading to exactly the fire risk that we’re all so concerned about.
We’re working on not only presentations to help homeowners create hardened homes and defensible space, but other activities – public wildfire safety fairs being one example. We will want to show homeowners how a wind-driven fire will impact them. How an evacuation will likely be deployed in the event of hundreds of homes being threatened. We’ll share key points on preparedness, and we’ll engage homeowners to share their concerns, the steps they’ve taken, and how we’re progressing as a City relative to reducing the threat from wildfire.