Publication Date June 7, 2016 | Los Angeles Times

Drought sparks larger wildfires throughout California

United States
Photo: Los Angeles Times
Photo: Los Angeles Times

Firefighters are tackling larger and more aggressive wildfires as drought conditions continue for a fifth year in California, drying out swaths of forest land.

Raging wildfires in Northern and Southern California kept firefighters busy over the weekend, pushing the number of acres burned so far this year to well over 20,000...

“Much of California is now entering a fifth year of drought, and while rainfall this past winter was more than in recent years, it was ineffective in reducing drought severity across the central portions of the state,” according the fire agency’s fuels and fire assessment.

Normally tree mortality in the southern and central Sierra Nevada is less than 5%. But tree death substantially increased last year, with some forests seeing up to 100% mortality.

According to the assessment, “extreme fire behavior such as dangerous rates of spread (similar to what was observed on the Rough, Valley, and Butte fires last year), torching, crowning, and long range spotting can be expected"