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Low precipitation this winter causes concern for CAL FIRE

SOURCE: National Weather Service

The North Coast is experiencing an abnormally dry winter, according to Meteorologist Ryan Aylward of the National Weather Service, Eureka.

"Rainfall is ranging from about 50 to 60 percent from normal," Aylward said. "So pretty far behind."

Aylward said that for the rest of the month of February, things don't seem to be getting any better.

"At this point the rest of February looks pretty dry," Alyward said.

This is a concern for Capt. Jeremy Ward of CAL FIRE.

"We're looking at the rain statewide," Ward said. "Already portions of the state are back in those drought conditions. We've seen the effects of the drought over the previous few years and the ever-increasing fire behavior that is resulting from that."

Ward said CAL FIRE works with the National Weather Service to track weather that could increase the spread of fires. This allows fire stations to prepare, he said.

"We can then staff additional crews, additional dozers," Ward added. " We might have additional prevention officers or fire engines that will be available to respond."

Aylward, however, said that it is still too early in the year to determine if this will cause a drought come summertime.

"At this point, there's still enough time in the season that we could recover," Aylward said.

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