Fire threat still very real

Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News reporter
Fire season is now year-round, officials say, especially in Southern California.
"We don't even call it a season anymore, because of the drought and the dry vegetation," said Scott McLean, chief of public information at Cal Fire.
A brushfire near Oak View May 28 served as a reminder.
The fire scorched about an acre in the 800 block of Santa Ana Road, but no structures were threatened.
"We have serious concerns about the coming season," said John McNeil, division chief with the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD).
Fuel moisture levels are dropping as vegetation turns from green to brown, he said.
"We're already at critical levels," McNeil said, "which has not been uncommon for the past six years."
But McNeil hesitates to call a year-round fire season "the new normal," as Gov. Jerry Brown has said.

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