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More Wildfires In California But No 'Mega Fires'

Eddie Sanderson Photography / AP / File

In this June 22, 2015, photo provided by Eddie Sanderson, smoke rises from a fire in Markleeville, Calif.

Eddie Sanderson Photography / AP / File

Four years of drought and record warm temperatures have created dangerous wildfire conditions in California.

And, it's been a busy year for firefighters.

"Already this year we've responded to well over 1200 more fires than we would in an average year for the same time period," says Daniel Berlant, Chief of Public Information for Cal Fire, the state firefighting agency.

He says additional staffing has helped keep the majority of the fires from becoming much larger. 

"A lot of that has to do with additional resources that we have because of the drought as well as some weather that's been very finicky this past several months, as far as triple digits, and then rainfall, triple digits and then rainfall," says Berlant. 

Berlant says that weather pattern has brought lightning too, which started more wildfires.

"In the past decade or so we have seen an increase as well in large fires that burned well over 100,000 acres and those are commonly referred to as either fire sieges or megafires," says Berlant. "So this year, while we've seen a lot more fires, the number of acres burned and the size of these fires has been kept relatively small."

Berlant says Cal Fire's strategy is an aggressive initial attack on wildfires, with the goal of keeping 95 percent of the fires to 10 acres or less. 

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