Federal officials are preparing for a bad fire season, especially in California and along the rest of the Pacific Coast. It's already begun in California, with nearly 40,000 acres having burned since the beginning of the year, thanks to the very dry winter statewide.
"Very little precipitation has occurred since the beginning of 2013," Jeremy Sullens of the National Interagency Fire Center said on a press call this morning. "In fact in some areas, specifically California, we've seen less than 25 percent of the annual precipitation we'd expect for the year so far."
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the US Forest Service is facing a worse-than-usual season with a smaller-than-usual fire-fighting force.