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Wet Winter No Guarantee Of Mild Wildfire Season

For centuries, a wet winter in California would have meant much fewer worries about large wildfires breaking out in the summer or fall. But researchers with the National Academy of Sciences say that relationship disappeared in the 1970’s, with rising temperatures, due to climate change, and modern suppression efforts. They say that’s allowed forest fuels to build up, with wildlands drying out. The Public Information Officer with Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit, Mary Eldrdige, declined to make a choice between below-normal versus above-normal precipitation…

click to listen to Mary Eldridge

But Eldridge says dry winters have killed more trees and dead trees have created larger, hotter, and more destructive wildfires in recent years. Meanwhile, the report also says not allowing more small blazes to clear out shrubs and other undergrowth means forests have become dangerously overgrown. While not addressing the study, Eldridge says Cal Fire is holding workshops for property owners to burn off more of their own fuels…

click to listen to Mary Eldridge

The report says along with climate change aggressive efforts to extinguish fires in the backcountry over the last century have left wooded areas increasingly dense and subject to enormous blazes.

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