Below is an excerpt from an article at Capital Public Radio:
…CAL FIRE says the timing of this year’s rains and four years of drought will combine to make fire conditions in 2015 the worst on record.
“We measure the fuel moisture content of all of the vegetation -the brush and the trees and we track that over the course of time and compare it month to month each year,” says Ken Pimlott, Director of CAL FIRE. “And we put it through formulas and determine how much energy and how much heat it will put out when it’s burning. And we have seen -we saw it last year and we will see it again this year- we’ll be reaching records for potential heat output for times of the year that would normally not be burning in those conditions.
CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott urged homeowners to clear space and conserve water.
“We don’t have water to water lawns and unnecessary landscaping. So, what that means is, is you need to remove that vegetation as it dries. We don’t want your dry lawn and your dry brush to contribute to more of the fire hazard. So, stop watering your lawn and remove it.”
Fighting wildfires from the air — Is it cost effective?
An article at KCRA in Sacramento raises the question about the effectiveness of using aircraft to fight fires, and mentions a study being conducted that is collecting data that may help provide answers.
Firefighters on Coronado National Forest prepare for the fire season
An astonishing 12.5m trees have died in California, unable to survive a harsh fourth year of drought, according to a US government study. The news of the massive tree die-offs came this week, after the United States Forest Service, a Department of Agriculture agency, released the results of an aerial survey it undertook in April over 8.2m acres of forest. The survey was organized three months ahead of schedule.
“The special early season aerial survey was prompted by knowledge of the worsening drought situation and reports from field crews that copious amounts of new mortality had appeared after the regular survey was flown in July of 2014,” explained Jeffrey Moore, a biologist with the agency who was one of the surveyors on the expedition…
Another copy of the May 5 Drought Monitor that we posted earlier today: