The 2020 California fire season was devastating, and unfortunately, the 2021 fire season isn’t likely to be much better. In fact, many predict that it could be even worse.
Due to droughts, extreme heat, and dry vegetation, California is likely to see more destructive wildfires in 2021, and residents need to be prepared for the damages that may come. From property and land destruction to hazardous air, it’s important for individuals in fire-prone areas to be aware of potential hazards so that they can protect themselves, their families, and their property. To give you a better idea of what to expect in the coming months, here’s an overview of the 2021 California fire season outlook.
Protect your home from wildfire by installing a Frontline Wildfire Defense exterior sprinkler system. For more information, contact us today for a free consultation.
Climate conditions are continuing to contribute to worsening fire seasons across the United States, and particularly in the western United States.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center’s North American Seasonal Fire Assessment and Outlook, “climate outlooks indicate warmer than normal conditions are likely for much of the US, especially the western US, through summer.” The report continues to explain that much of the west coast should expect significant fire risk through September.
Combined with dry conditions, these rising temperatures make it incredibly easy for fires in California to ignite and spread at uncontrollable rates. Not only are there likely to be many wildfire incidents, but many expect the fire season to be long-lasting. AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel, for example, expects an extremely dry spring to exacerbate wildfire conditions.
Wildfire risk is not only impacted by climate conditions but is also significantly affected by fuel conditions.
As reported by Salon, Craig Clements of the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center at San José State University explained, “Fire danger is a function of not only the weather, but the condition of the fuels—and the most important thing about the fuels is their moisture content.”
According to Clements, droughts in California have caused low fuel moisture contents and a lack of new plant growth. As a result, many expect California’s fire season in 2021 to be even more destructive than it has been in recent years.
The National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook by the National Interagency Fire Center offers predictions for the 2021 fire season in Northern and Southern California. Per the report, “above normal significant fire potential is expected across much of the mid and upper elevations of the North Ops geographic area through August before expanding across all of North Ops except for northeast California in September and October.”
Below-average precipitation and higher-than-average temperatures in the region mean that fire activity is likely to increase as temperatures continue to rise.
Like Northern California, Southern California will have significant fire potential from July through September. This is largely due to a lack of rainfall in June combined with high temperatures and strong winds.
Drought conditions in the area are worsening, and most of Southern California is considered to be under extreme drought to exceptional drought. As fuel continues to dry out, fire activity is expected to increase in July and the following months.
That being said, there is a possibility that drought conditions will actually work to lessen the risk of wildfires in Southern California due to a lack of new grass and brush. According to AccuWeather’s Dave Samuhel, “Since it was a dry winter there, that means there wasn’t a lot of new grass that grew. So that could reduce the wildfire threat a little bit, at least in that area.”
Samuhel made sure to clarify, though, that all it takes is one fire during a period of strong winds to cause extreme devastation, and these events can be very difficult to predict ahead of time.
Wildfires in California are likely going to cause significant destruction throughout the northern and southern regions of the state, making it all the more important for residents to do what they can to reduce the risk of fires spreading in their communities.
To prepare for the 2021 California fire season, residents can take the following steps:
Implementing these practices can reduce the risk of your home and community being impacted by wildfires.
The Frontline Wildfire Defense exterior sprinkler system can protect your home from wildfire with:
For more information on how Frontline Wildfire Defense can help safeguard your home, contact us today for a free consultation.