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Climate and Environment

4th Of July During A Very Dry Year? Make Sure You Have An Evacuation Plan.

Fireworks over the Rose Bowl.
(Steve Grayson
WireImage via Getty Images)
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Leaders of Southern California's firefighting agencies are urging the public — particularly residents in high-fire risk areas — to prepare themselves for wildfire season.

They stressed that with the Fourth of July holiday on the horizon, and the potential for fireworks touching off flames in a very dry year, everyone needs to have an evacuation plan ready.

Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said Friday that many agencies already have preparedness programs in place.

"Please go to your local fire department's website," he said. "Have a plan ... prepare before there is smoke in the air."

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Fire officials also warn that it's a bad idea to wait for flames to reach your neighborhood, because at that point, it might be too late to get out. L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said that was a problem around Malibu during the 2018 Woolsey Fire.

"We had over a thousand 911 calls in the footprint of that fire," Osby said, with people trapped or trying to get out.

The chiefs also urged people in wildland areas to prepare by clearing enough defensible space around their properties.

We've got lots more fire preparedness tips here:

What questions do you have about the fires burning in Southern California?