Can California's Fire Season End?

 

People hid from the rain in Sacramento last week.

The wet weather coming this week is expected to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the fire hazard for the rest of the year.

California's recent fire season has stretched anxiously through the end of the year, with devastating fires in November and December. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the start of the campfire, the deadliest fire in state history. Thankfully, though, the fire forecast doesn't look too grim this year.

Experts say recent rains and cold weather have already put a damper on the fire season in Northern California. And the massive storms expected across the state this week are likely to do the same in the southern half of California, said Craig Clements, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Wildfire Studies at San Jose State University. said. “This is the end of fire season,” Clements told me. "The risk, if any, appears to be very low in most states." Of course, when it comes to California's increasingly 24/7 fire season, there are no guarantees.

Experts say an upcoming rainy season could be followed by a prolonged dry season, which could increase the risk of fires again, just like last year. And while fire risk is expected to drop significantly in Southern California after this week's storms, wind-fed winter fires in Santa Ana are always more common than in the north of the state. remains high.

Still, these fall rains are definitely good news, especially as drier-than-usual La NiƱa conditions are predicted for fall and winter, says Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. , says storms are most likely to benefit both the ongoing water shortages and the wildfire season in California, especially in the state's cooler, wetter north.


Elected as sheriff of Los Angeles County four years ago, Alex Villanueva has become one of the most divisive figures in California.


"In the short term, this is one of the best predictions you can expect if you don't like drought and extreme fall wildfires," Swain wrote on Friday. It should provide much-needed water to these ecosystems and completely end the fire season in northern and central California.”

As of Monday, the outlook from the National Interagency Fire Center showed little to no fire danger across the state, with the exception of some inland areas of Southern California where the risk is considered low. I'm here. No fire risk anywhere in the state is considered moderate or high in the next 7 days.

Already, 2022 will see far less fire devastation than in recent years. About 362,351 acres had been burned by the end of October, according to Cal Fire. The five-year average of acres burned in the first ten months of the year is 2.1 million.

California hit record heat this September, but the months leading up to it were generally not as hot as the last few summers. These relatively low temperatures, combined with other favorable weather conditions (such as high humidity and moderate winds), may have helped keep this fire season milder than we would have liked. There is, Clements told me.

"We just got lucky," he said. "You should enjoy it while you can"

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