Wildfire season is officially in effect for California as of May 24th. With the low snow year and many of California’s reservoirs at a small percentage of their normal capacities, this year looks to be especially bad for the Golden State.
Although May exceeded averages in precipitation, the lack of snowpack increases the chances of wildfires, especially at higher elevations. This combined with the historic drought is causing concern amongst Yosemite Park employees, who are urging park users to, “Please be fire safe.”
During an interview with Scott McLean of CAL FIRE, the official reported that since the New Year, 1883 wildfires have ravaged 6,841 acres of land in California and it’s not even peak wildfire season.
Although fires are an annual concern, the 4 year drought has exacerbated these worries and with historically low snowfalls this past winter, the fire season has the potential to extend beyond October and back into the winter months.
The only relief in store is the potential for an El Nino trend to affect an increase in moisture through the summer. According to meteorologists from NOAA, an El Nino trend is building in the pacific and that bodes well for moisture across the south. However, El Nino predictions have often gone astray and by no means does warming in the pacific guarantee increased rainfall.
CAL FIRE recently reported that they have “seen almost twice as many wildfires than average [so far] and the peak of summer is still to come.”
According to the CAL FIRE official, “We are not out of the woods by any means.”