The National Weather Service issued a red flag fire warning today in north central California between Sacramento and Redding due to dry conditions.
Officials urge residents to take extreme caution to avoid igniting fires. The warning remains in effect until 5 p.m.
"The main thing is to not do anything that would cause any fire, be wary that the Sacramento area is (grassy) and really dry," said Craig Shoemaker, meteorologist forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. "Anything that can spark a fire will spark a fire."
The region has had low humidity levels, generally down to 10 and 20 percent, according to NWS. He said there were strong wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Both factors pose fire dangers given the dry conditions of the Sacramento area.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to 77 percent more wildfires so far this year compared to 2012. The area is experiencing dry conditions not usually seen until August and September.
Two grass fires were reported Thursday in the Sacramento region, a 35-acre fire in south Sacramento and a 237-acre fire west of Roseville.
"This time of year people use lawnmowers, weed eaters," said Daniel Berlant, spokesman for Cal Fire. "Do not use power equipment on a day like today."
Improper disposal of cigarette butts is one possible ignition to a fire, Shoemaker said.
Campers are urged to extinguish camp fires, and outdoor burning has been suspended in the Sacramento area, Berlant said. In the case of a fire, residents should evacuate early, he added.
"People try to stay behind and maybe water their roof," Berlant said.
For more information on ways to prepare for fire season, visit readyforwildfire.org.
Call The Bee's Kristopher Rivera, (916) 321-1101.