Peak wildfire season has arrived in California

Traditionally, the wildfire season in California occurs in late summer and fall. However, recent years have shown that the fire ‘season’ has extended, including a wildfire in Big Sur earlier this year in January that burned nearly 700 acres. As drought conditions in California worsen, causing terrain to dry out and water levels to drop, California is expected to have an especially intense fire season.

So far, in 2022, just over 9,000 acres have burned across the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). In May alone, there were 10 incidents, totaling more than 1,403 acres burned.

Central California is already facing several red flag warnings this month, which the National Weather Service issues when weather conditions could trigger a wildfire. This usually includes a combination of hot, dry and windy conditions.

This week, Cal Fire officially declared that the peak of the fire season was underway. In an effort to help with this, a statewide, 1,000-unit AlertWildfire video camera system monitors fire-vulnerable landscapes. More than half of these cameras were installed within the coverage area of ​​Pacific Gas & Electric, the California utility whose equipment was blamed in several wildfires.

California is not alone in its wildfire problems. Drought conditions and wildfire threats extend across the western US. A massive wildfire, bigger than Los Angeles, is currently burning in New Mexico after two fires merged. The seven-week blaze is raging near Santa Fe and is 40% contained.

California wildfires can be tracked through the CAL FIRE incident database.

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