LADERA RANCH (  —  Firefighters in Southern California are bracing.

As they watch neighborhoods go up in flames in Northern and Central California, they worry that similar wild fires could erupt here.

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The command staff of the Orange County Fire Authority watches with a pit in their collective stomach.

To help in the fight up north, the agency lent 70 people, a helicopter, and five engines to the effort.

Despite the spirit of cooperation, KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo says they are still hoping what is happening north of us is not a preview of what’s to come.

“When Northern California and Central California ask for resources we gladly send those up north because we know when we get into the fall we get the Indian summer and the Santa Anas are blowing, we’re going to be asking for resources from Northern California and Central California to help us with our fires,” says Captain Steve Concialdi of the OCFA.

It’s no secret much of Southern California is primed and ready to burn.

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Concialdi met Fajardo on a ridge in Mission Viejo — there were homes on both sides of the mountain. He wanted to show her the danger, first hand.

There were very few patches of khaki green anywhere in sight.

“This is the 4th year of of a pretty severe drought in Southern California,” Concialdi said, “And we’re already seeing critical fire behavior. Where a fire can start small, it quickly grows because the vegetation is so dry.”

In other words similar hazards to what Southern California experienced in 2007 — when fires burned from Santa Barbara to the border.

“They are seeing devastation going on up there,” says Concialdi, “from homes and structures being lost to thousands and thousands of acres being burned, wildlife destroyed. So, we don’t want that to happen here.”

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That’s why Concialdi says firefighters are on the lookout for improper brush clearance and loaning resources to others — hoping when the Santa Anas come homeowners won’t have to find comfort or help from elsewhere.