Aug 7, 2019

A slow start to fire season: Here's what to expect in August

California
USA
by
Courtney Kreider
,
KRCR
The view going into Paradise during the Camp Fire in 2018.
The view going into Paradise during the Camp Fire in 2018.

So far, an estimated 43, 362 acres have burned in California since the start of the 2019 fire season. That's about 700,000 acres less than what had already burnt by the beginning of August in 2018. However, fire analysts expect the rest of the 2019 fire season, from August through at least October, to be significantly above normal for the Northstate.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), fire season is starting earlier and ending later each year. The National Weather Service says climate change is considered a key driver of this trend. Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snow-pack, and earlier spring snow-melt are all factors they say make for an intense fire season.

The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by 75 days across the Sierras as weather increased moisture stress on vegetation and made forests more susceptible to severe wildfires.