After a long, harsh winter, California now faces a dangerous summer of unpredictable wildfires and climate change.
Wildfire numbers across the United States have continuously grown since 2000, but California wildfires in particular are escalating and becoming more and more unpredictable. After a rough winter of heavy snowfall and rain, vegetation is blooming. While this may sound like just what we needed after the worst drought in over a millennium, flourishing greenery serves as an effective kindling for summer wildfires.
Cal Fire crews are trying to outsmart these erratic fires with fire behaviorists, who use everything from drones and radar to artificial intelligence models to try and predict how the blazes will move. The smallest of factors can change its course, like wind force or even the shape of slopes. In the end, however, trying to predict something so arbitrary is oftentimes unsuccessful.
Adding to the unpredictability of this year’s wildfire season is the drastic heat waves as a result of climate change. The last two weekends have reached triple digits, and there doesn’t look to be any relief for the remainder of the summer. These heat waves not only keep flames burning overnight (during the crucial hours when firefighters try to get ahead of them), they put California residents in danger as well.
The key takeaway from the radical start to this summer is to stay safe. Keep updated with wildfires throughout the state and keep yourself and your workers safe from the heat outside.
Read the full article from CalMatters!
For more information about wildfire safety as well as protecting outdoor workers from heat illnesses, check out these CalOHA articles!
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