Kern County fire officials are expecting a destructive fire season.

2021 was the second biggest year on record for wildfires in California with about 2.6 million acres burned.  Officials with the Kern County Fire Department say they’re preparing for a much worse time this year because of the drought, now in it’s third year.

Officials say preparedness is the key and are advising residents to clear vegetation around their property, remove dry leaves and needles within the defensible space of the first thirty feet, and make sure trees are limbed down six feet from the ground.

June 1st is the deadline to create fuel breaks around properties in fire-prone areas such as Lake Isabella where the French Fire scorched more than 26,500 acres in 2021. Violators could face stiff fines.

KCFD has recruited fifteen new firefighters who will be ready for action when the fire season starts in June.

-Jeff Lemucchi

Credit: KGET