FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Officials are urging homeowners in the Central Valley to prepare ahead of this year’s wildfire season.

As fire seasons become more persistent over the years, Fresno County Fire Battalion Chief Dan Urias explained that year-round wildfires have become the new norm in California.

Firefighters with Cal Fire’s Fresno County unit are prepared to combat the wildfires with aviation assets, fire engines, bulldozing and hand crews, and additional staffing.

Urias says the department aims to have an aircraft over any fire within 10 minutes to ensure fire retardant gets put on the flames as quickly as possible.

While firefighters continue to make preparations, Urias says it’s important for homeowners to do the same. Homeowners can create ‘defensible space‘ around their homes by clearing out any dead or dying vegetation and making sure there are no combustible materials around their homes.

“Doing your part to make sure your home is defendable for us,” said Dan Urias.

It is also important to always make sure that fire engines and firefighters have a clear path to access your property during a fire.

By creating an evacuation plan, families can make sure they are prepared ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate.

Urias says families should have backup evacuation routes in the event that the original evacuation plan doesn’t work out.

You can read more tips on preparing for wildfire season by clicking here.