Here’s when experts think fire danger will peak in Northern California

Northern California firefighters are preparing for what could be “the absolute worst” fire season this year, with the potential for significant blazes expected to increase in July, Cal Fire officials said Thursday.

The potential for significant fires in the Bay Area and other parts of Northern California is expected to increase in June and last through August, according to the latest monthly and seasonal outlook from the National Interagency Fire Center.

Meteorologists predicted those blazes could start through a “thunderstorm complex or two targeting areas near and north of the San Francisco Bay region and points north,” according to AccuWeather.

Isaac Sanchez, battalion chief of communications for Cal Fire, said the agency typically sees higher chances for “large, destructive” fires from June to August due to dry conditions that could create receptive fuel beds and lead to catastrophic blazes.

“What we’ve seen in recent history is the window for that potential, for large disruptive fires, is getting wider,” said Sanchez.

“But now with climate change and the conditions that we’re facing as a result, that time can start in May,” he said.

The state has seen about 200 fewer fires so far this year compared to last year, according to Cal Fire data. But more than 1,700 acres have burned as of April 29 than last year, the data shows.

To prepare for this year’s wildfire season, Cal Fire officials have traveled across the state for “Wildfire Preparedness Week” to urge residents to create an evacuation plan, prepare their homes to survive potential blazes and prevent fires from sparking. Sanchez said over 90% of fires are typically sparked by “human activity.”

“We have to prepare for the absolute worst,” he said. “And what we want is for the public to do the exact same thing with us because it’s very much a cooperative effort between the public and the fire service in the state of California.”

Jessica Flores (she/her) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @jesssmflores

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