California’s 2021 Fire Season

The chamise plants that blanket California’s shrubby chaparral should have grown new sprouts by now, flowering after winter rains before baking in the arid summer heat.

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They are highly flammable and abundant in wildland areas — and, for that reason, a bellwether to wildfire researchers. This month, a San Jose State University team analyzing moisture levels was shocked at what it found at study sites in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

At two locations researchers found no new growth to cut from the shrubs. It’s an ominous sign of just how dry the vegetation is around California, where boundless numbers of plants and trees have been starved of life-sustaining water thanks to an entire winter of paltry precipitation. Those dry plants are fuel for wildfires, and they’re primed to burn explosively.

3 thoughts on “California’s 2021 Fire Season

  1. We are not much better, but we are better. Thankfully we got new growth here. Helped that we got 12 inches of rain in 24 hours, that storm mostly missed santa cruz. One other glipse of hope is that we are in the cold water cycle right now, with the pacific being 3degrees c below the avg. Extreme weather europe( just Google it) is the best thing I’ve found to be better informed about the climate and weather changes and why. It is extremely in depth and anyone who is kinda wonky about weather can thank me later
    This is the driest year I’ve seen since 2013-14 that I have experienced and am hoping that colder water translates into lots of fog(that’s the predictions) and as always, built to burn thru. Clear your brush,clean ur gutters and be ready and accept it’s coming. Not if. But when. This land I’m on has burned on avg every 12 years. Last year was 12. Lucky 13 here we come!

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