Fires have scorched 152 acres in the San Mateo-Santa Cruz Cal Fire region this year, a 360 percent increase from last year.During one of the driest years on record in the stateThe cost of extending Cal Fire staffing through Monday is $126,000. Depending on weather conditions, Division Chief AngelaBernheisel said she could extend that deadline.
The state fire agency has determined that “dangerous fire conditions” continue to exist on the Peninsula, and that the danger will require the staff of six trucks to remain in the area.
This year stands out as being particularly hazardous in terms of the threat from wildfires, officials note. So far in 2013, the San Mateo-Santa Cruz Cal Fire unit has responded to 344 blazes within its area of responsibility, according to Division Chief Angela Bernheisel. And those 344 fires are responsible for considerably more destruction — scorching 152 acres of land, or 360 percent more acreage than in 2012. Last year, 296 fires in the unit’s coverage area burned only about 33 acres of land.