SoCal Wildfires Under Control, but ‘Serious Fire Season’ Looms

By ABC News

May 19, 2014 6:26pm

After days of battling raging infernos, firefighters today finally contained nearly all the wildfires that raged across California in last week, thanks to a break in the hot and dry weather.

See: Firefighter’s “selfie” taken during SoCal fires goes viral.

Last week, there were 200 fires. In San Diego, 27,000 acres were burned and 44 homes were destroyed. One person died.

But firefighters said the fire season was just getting started, fueled by California’s 2.5-year-long drought.

“It’s [the fire] under control for the moment,” Gov. Jerry Brown told ABC News Sunday. “But we’re in a very serious fire season, more serious than we’ve seen before.”

Cities are now taking drastic measures to save water, from paying people to rip out their lawn in favor of drought-resistant plants to hiring water cops to patrol for waste.

In Pleasanton, California, residents were forced to cut water use by 25 percent.

Every day, the average California home uses 70 water-cooler jugs. To avoid stiff fines, they’d need to use almost 18 fewer jugs a day.

And although cooler temperatures were giving California a much-needed break, red flag warnings were up in seven other western states.

“Mother Nature is our worst enemy,” said Capt. Fernando Herrera of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

ABC News’ Cecilia Vega contributed to this story.

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