default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

San Joaquin County firefighters seeing a routine season — so far

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:00 am

Fire departments throughout California have been expecting an active wildfire season this year following an extremely dry winter. Statewide it's proven true, and local departments have sent strike teams to help fight flames in Northern and Southern California much earlier than usual.

But in San Joaquin County, the fire season has been routine so far.

Fire departments including Lodi, Stockton, Woodbridge and others said that while it is only May, there hasn't been an increase in brush fires.

Typically, fire season reaches its peak in August and September, although roadside brush, which is the most common cause of wildfires, has dried out earlier than usual, according to Woodbridge Fire Chief Steve Butler.

CAL FIRE has responded to more than 680 wildfires since the beginning of this year, which is a 45 percent increase from the average through April. Little rainfall during the last few months has caused the spike, and could signal higher fire danger this summer.

While things have been normal in the Lodi area, local fire departments have been assisting other counties in fighting fires earlier than usual.

Already, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy and Stockton have sent firefighters to battle wildfires in Ventura County.

Meanwhile, Clements, Thornton and Liberty have sent strike teams to the Panther Fire in Butte County.

"That seemed early in the season for strike teams to go out," Thornton Fire Chief Vince Tafuri said.

Locally, residents have taken appropriate steps to limit potential fires.

A statewide ordinance requires building owners to remove fire hazards within 100 feet of the property line of their structure.

The Mokelumne Fire District recently completed their inspections and sent letters to building owners with surrounding hazards. The district's spent several days answering phone calls from residents upset with the ordinance and the tasking responsibility.

But Mokelumne Fire District Captain Rob Firman said folks who don't abide by the request sometimes regret it eventually.

"We try to talk to people and explain why we're doing this," he said. "The people who've had fires learn the hard way, and once you've had a fire it could be too late."

Residents of Woodbridge largely understand the high fire danger and have made sure their properties are free of hazards. Last year the Woodbridge Fire Department sent 170 letters to building owners with surrounding hazards, but this year they've only sent 30 notices.

"People have been taking care of their properties," Butler said. "It's been pretty impressive."

Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at krisa@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 37


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists