Summer of Super Fires | NECN

Summer of Super Fires



    Fire officials warn the next major catastrophic fire could be anywhere (Published Friday, Jan. 17, 2014)

    (NECN/NBC News: Jacob Rascon) - Summer is always hot.

    Add to that dry brush and that becomes a dangerous recipe for a major fire.

    Forecasting wildfires is nearly impossible, but, this summer, they could happen just about anywhere.

    Nine years ago, the 'old fire' destroyed nearly 1,000 homes, including that of Margo Burns.

    "I was here in 2003. The neighborhood was destroyed," said Burns.

    Today, most of the neighborhood is back.

    “Everybody rebuilt but like ten people."

    Unless you count the 'station fire' in 2009 that destroyed 89 homes, southern California has not had a major catastrophic fire since the old fire and Bill Peters says, we're overdue.

    "Almost anywhere in southern California right now as we stand here has the potential for a catastrophic fire… even more so when we get into the Santa Ana wind season."

    "If I didn't tell you this area burned in 2003, you wouldn't be able to recognize it because the vegetation has recovered so well… that is just solid fuel, dry gasoline, waiting to burn."

    On top of that, California had an extremely dry last winter, a factor fire officials in Colorado and Texas say helped fuel the most destructive fires in their state's histories.

    The Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs has destroyed 347 homes and is still burning.

    The Bastrop fire less than a year ago near Austin, Texas destroyed more than 1,500 homes.

    "It's hard to say this community over that community."

    It may be impossible to pinpoint where the next major catastrophic fire might hit.

    Fire officials warn it could be anywhere, especially if you're surrounded by wildfire fuel like Margo.

    “Love it up here, never move back downhill."