Publication Date October 2, 2021 | Los Angeles Times

Hot, dry weather challenges crews fighting California wildfires

Wildfire in California

Climate Signals summary: Firefighters in California are continuing to work to contain wildfires in the southern Sierra. Climate change has lead to historic drought conditions and unusually warm temperatures that have made the wildfires harder to contain.

Article excerpt: 

The KNP Complex fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park had burned 58,283 acres and was 20% contained as of early Saturday, when it sparked new evacuation warnings in Fresno County. Those in Sequoia Lake, Cedarbrook, Etheda Springs and Pinehurst were told to be prepared to leave.

The fire had forced 659 people from their homes, with evacuation orders issued Friday for the communities of Big Meadows, Weston Meadows and Quail Flat in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, as well as Grant Grove, Wilsonia and Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, Adams said.

Along the southern edge of the fire, authorities on Friday downgraded to a warning an evacuation order for residents along the Mineral King Road entrance of the park.

The fire started during a Sept. 9 lightning storm and has been difficult to control as it burns through dry forests crowded with trees competing for limited moisture that has been made more scarce by climate change and drought, experts say.

California and several other Western states endured the hottest summer on record. And preliminary data indicates that the water year, which ended Sept. 30, was the driest on record for multiple areas in Northern California, including Redding, Red Bluff and Sacramento, the National Weather Service said Saturday.

You can find the full story by Alex Wigglesworth here: