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Forecasters predict there may be lightning strikes in the Sierra Nevada this weekend, which could spark dry fuel fires.

Meanwhile, the California Office of Emergency Services has activated its heat emergency plan, opened cooling centers and enforced safety precautions for outdoor workers.

“If you work outdoors, talk to your coworkers. Also talk to older people who may be isolated,” said Nancy Ward, director of Cal OES. “Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks. Find a cooling center in your community to cool off if needed. Many communities offer free transportation to these centers. Pack a bag with essentials for each of your family members and also for your pets in case you have to evacuate. Learn multiple routes in and out of your neighborhood in case you are told to evacuate.”

Ward also advised people to sign up for emergency alerts. This can be done at

Newsom urged Californians to connect the frequency of weather-related disasters with their causes in man-made climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

“The temperatures are getting higher and higher; we're experiencing unprecedented record heat,” he said. “These heat domes are sweeping the entire Western United States, over and over and over and over again. Record temperatures, record-breaking experiences. Not just in California, across the country and the rest of the world.”

He dismissed his critics and climate change deniers, saying, “With all due respect to the cavemen out there, climate change is real. Mother Nature strikes last, a thousand times over. She is chemistry, biology and physics. These realities, these extremes are here, present every day in the great state of California.”

This year, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has fought more than 3,500 wildfires that have burned more than 200,000 acres, similar to the same period last year but representing 190,000 acres more.

“There have been 44 new wildfires across the state in the last 24 hours,” said Tyler, the director of Cal Fire.

Tyler pointed out that 95% of all wildfires are caused by human activity and offered some practical advice.

“I ask you to be aware that lawn mowers, weed killers, chain saws, grinders, welders, tractors and trimmers can start wildfires if not properly maintained,” he said. “You need to be careful when mowing that spark arrestors are clean and maintained. Mow before 10 a.m., mow when the humidity is high because it dries out during the day.”

Since most fires start along roads, drivers play a major role in prevention.

“And to the drivers on our roads and highways, make sure you do your part and make sure your chains are secure, you remove any dragging debris, you carry a fire extinguisher and your braking systems are maintained,” Tyler said.

For more information on preparing for wildfires, check out KQED's guides on What to Pack, What to Do If You're Under an Evacuation Order, and How to Protect Yourself from Smoke. To prepare for dangerous heat, check out this guide on the risks of heat-related illness and how to keep cool.

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