September 24, 2022
Rains did little to defuse the autumn wildfire season
SOUTHLAND – With another round of triple-digit heat in the longer-range forecast, it’s unlikely that the much-needed rain earlier this month will blunt the threat of wind-driven wildfires this fall.

The recent rains helped tame some of the state’s most active blazes — including the Mosquito fire in El Dorado and Placer counties and the Fairview Fire near Hemet— it’s too soon to declare fire season over, experts say.

In California, occasional bouts of heavy precipitation are proving outmatched by rising temperatures and worsening drought, which can leave vegetation nearly as brittle and fire-prone as it was before the rain.

Fall is often accompanied by the dreaded Santa Ana winds. With experts now predicting a rare, third consecutive year of dry La Niña conditions, the combination of winds and desiccated fuel could prove perilous.

“We still have to be really vigilant,” said Alex Hall, director of the Center for Climate Science at UCLA told the Los Angeles Times. “The heart of the fire season — especially for Southern California and the central part of California — is coming up.”

Story Date: September 21, 2022
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