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Wildfires High during March Drought

With very little rainfall, fire crews are busy really early this year.

CAL FIRE crews from Felton have already responded to seven vegetation fires in the month of March in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, Unit Chief Scott Jalbert said in a press release Friday.

The rash of fires is a result of minuscule rainfall.

"The National Inter-agency Fire Center, Predictive Services shows rainfall levels at less than a quarter of normal this year and drought development likely across the region," the press release said.

Five of the seven March fires started as burn piles.

Open burn season ends April 30. CAL FIRE is stressing that anyone in Santa Cruz County comply with residential burning guidelines to avoid anything catastrophic. Check out those rules by visiting www.santacruzcountyfire.com.

"Create defensible space around your home by removing dead plants, grass and weeds from your yard, roof and rain gutters," CAL FIRE spokesperson Angela Bernheisel said. "Trim trees and keep branches at least 10 feet from your chimney. Remove flammable items from around and under decks."

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