From Cheryl Goetz, Fire Chief, Mid-Coast Fire Brigade
Last week I attended the Annual Pre-Fire Season meeting and it was enlightening on how serious of a threat the United States Forest Service and Cal Fire are anticipating. Both agencies related that the conditions of this year have set us up for a repeat of the 2008 fire year (Basin Fire) with multiple large fire burning across the state and competing for limited resources. Cal Fire has already staffed engines and brought air tankers on contract which is unprecedented.
Fire Danger: 1,040 fires have been reported across the state since January 1, burning 2,393 acres.
This year’s fire activity is well above the year-to-date average of 428 wildfires, burning 1,179 acres.
87 new wildfires were reported over the past week, most of which were kept small due to additional firefighters, fire engines and firefighting aircraft added during this dry winter.
As you will note from the above graph (the Rim fire was still in progress, and eventually ended up in the number one spot for largest fire in CA history) three of the largest fires were started by lightning in June of 2008, including our own Basin Fire.