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petronius

(26,628 posts)
Mon Jun 19, 2017, 07:14 PM Jun 2017

What a Wet Winter Means for Wildfire Season

Above-average precipitation in California and other parts of the West doesn’t necessarily mean there will be fewer wildfires this season – the Golden State has already seen more than twice as many acres burned as it did last year.

Every spring firefighters throughout the West approach the summer season with a proverbial prediction: If the winter was dry, all those parched trees will burn like torches; if it was a wet winter, all those new grasses will fuel quick fire starts and hot, runaway flames.

After a winter that left record piles of snow in the mountains and drenched most of California’s valleys, it’s no surprise that it is grass fires that are fueling a fast start to the state’s 2017 fire season. More than 16,000 acres had burned by June 3 in 1,229 blazes, most of them in central and southern California.

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We can look to the hills for relief, federal officials said. The rains that are fueling the green-up in the valleys fell as snow at the higher elevations. The result is a slow start to the fire season in the Sierra Nevada, mostly managed by the United States Forest Service: just 2,576 acres of federal lands had burned by June 3. By June 7 last year, nearly 13,000 acres had burned. The moisture should lead to a delayed and shorter season overall in the Sierra, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, ID.

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https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2017/06/19/what-a-wet-winter-means-for-future-of-wildfire-season

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I knew that a wet winter provided fuel, but I didn't know about the difference between grass/scrub and mountain forests - that all this moisture will slow things down in the Sierra, but the grass lands and other semi-arid regions will burn more intensely. Also an interesting point that a slower fire season in the high-elevations will allow more controlled burns to deal with beetle-killed trees...
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What a Wet Winter Means for Wildfire Season (Original Post) petronius Jun 2017 OP
more shit to burn. pansypoo53219 Jun 2017 #1
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