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What San Luis Obispo County can expect with this year’s fire season

Firefighter Kristen Johnson, with the Riverside Fire Department, works to mop up a burned area along Lynch Canyon Road during the Chimney Fire on Aug. 23, 2016.
Firefighter Kristen Johnson, with the Riverside Fire Department, works to mop up a burned area along Lynch Canyon Road during the Chimney Fire on Aug. 23, 2016. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The beginning of California’s fire season could start a little later this year, thanks to extensive rain and flooding in the winter.

Cal Fire officials said they anticipate the season to begin in mid-May, a change from previous years, said Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms.

Because of the drought, the fire season in the past several years has typically started in mid-April, Elms said. And last year, he said, the season never officially closed.

“This actually is kind of normal,” he said of the predicted mid-May start.

So what should Californians expect to see this year? More grass fires because of the new crops that sprouted up after the rain, Elms said, but probably not as many devastating fires.

“I think the best takeaway is that we may not see fewer fires,” Elms said, “but I don’t think we’ll see the intense, big fires that go on for days and days and days.”

Megan Henney: 805-781-7915, @megan_henney

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