Calif. braces for 'perfect environment' for large, devastating wildfires
State has seen triple the number of fires from last year; meteorologists and fire experts say conditions will get worse
By Peter Fimrite
San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — There already have been more than 800 wildfires in California this year — nearly triple the number for this time last year - prompting state fire officials this week to warn residents to prepare for what could be an infernal summer.
A shortage of rain and snow has left the state unusually dry, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Such dry conditions have led in the past to some of the state's worst fire seasons, which is one reason why Gov. Jerry Brown declared this week Wildfire Awareness Week.