SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Another season of large wildfires could be on tap in Northern California, especially from now through October, according to a new report.
Cal Fire Captain Justin Hartman said he’s seen this kind of weather report in the past. He’s referring to the latest forecast from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. In short, it says Northern California could be headed toward a “very active” fire season.
“We definitely do have the fuel loading because of how much rain we’ve had this winter,” Hartman said.
That concern in Napa County echos what we just heard in Contra Costa County.
“That adds up to somewhere between 150 to 200% of the fuel load we had in the same spot and across the county or year ago,” said Steve Hill with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
It’s true across much of Northern California, so with fire activity below average in July, the concern is that we’re heading toward the most dangerous fire conditions, heat and warm dry winds, with much of that fuel still on the ground.
“When all three of those topics align, [it] definitely create something that’s really hard for us to control with the wind speeds up to about 50 miles an hour, it’s really hard to get ahead of these fires and stop it,” Hartman said.
The report also calls for above-normal fire potential along with a forecast for warmer and drier conditions in Northern California.