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Corral Fire in California has firefighters worried as climate change threatens to make fire season worse

Why California's Corral Fire has officials worried
Why California's Corral Fire has officials so worried 02:07

The Corral Fire exploded in Northern California over the weekend, scorching more than 14,000 acres, jumping major roadways and prompting evacuations as it bore down on nearby homes

Local resident Daniel Perez stayed behind to help first responders.

"The firefighters actually dipped the hose into my pool," he told CBS News. Perez said it appeared they had stopped the fire at one point before flames suddenly came in from another direction.

The fire, fueled by fierce winds, burned down his neighbors' home, although the older couple living there were able to evacuate safely. Perez's home was spared, but his garage and the memories inside it were not — memories like the ones wrapped up in the comforter made by his grandmother that he used in his daughter's crib. 

"It's irreplaceable," he said, adding that the loss was "devastating."

While wildfires aren't new in California, what worries firefighters is that the Corral Fire, which was roughly 75% contained as of Monday evening, happened so early in the so-called fire season.

"For the most part, we don't refer to it as fire season anymore. It's almost like there are no rules anymore," said CalFire information officer Cecile Juliette.

As the climate warms, spring is arriving earlier, with higher temperatures, scientists say. That causes the snowpack to melt more quickly, drying out vegetation that in turn becomes fuel for fires.

"To have a fire that was more than 14,000 acres plus in the beginning of June is a bit eye-opening," Juliette said.

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