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California likely to see heavy wildfire season

With a heavy wildfire season predicted, California business owners need to ensure they have a current business continuity plan.
With a heavy wildfire season predicted, California business owners need to ensure they have a current business continuity plan.

Last summer, California and many states along the West Coast and Southwest areas of the U.S. saw a large amount of wildfires. According to officials, 2013 is not looking to be in any different, and could in fact, have more dangerous blazes than last year.

Specifically, California can expect lots of wildfires this season, the Associated Press reported. Since the beginning of 2013, state fire crews have responded to more than 680 wildfires, which is 200 more than average for the period.

State officials are already starting to take precautions. For Instance, the Angeles National Forest – a 1,000-square mile area north of Los Angeles – raised its fire danger level from moderate to high on Friday and started to bring in dozens of seasonal firefighters early Sunday. Additionally, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection increased staffing in the southern part of the state last week.

Eric Boldt, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, California, told the AP that even though a majority of the country had heavy rain and snow this last winter, The Golden State has received dry winds.

"We're about two months ahead of where we should be in terms of drying out," Boldt said. "People might notice as they're driving the freeways that the hills are getting brown. Typically, they'd be green. It doesn't look promising."

When conditions like this start to be broadcast, it is an ideal opportunity for local companies to ensure they have an up-to-date business continuity plan. In case of an evacuation order, employees need to know if they should work from an established hot site, or if they can work from other remote locations.

As there can be days or even weeks before it is deemed safe to return to an evacuated area, business owners must have a plan in place to keep their workers safe and still keep daily operations running smoothly.

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