After three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall, California faces its most severe drought emergency in decades. Governor Jerry Brown has called for Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent voluntarily, and mandatory rationing could be ordered soon so that homes, businesses and farms don’t run dry over the summer. Wildfire danger is unusually high across California, with higher than normal fire danger in Marin County, which is classified as “Extreme Drought,” the second-highest classification.
Marin County Fire Managers anticipate that the wildland firefighting community will be engaged in more and longer wildfires this year: the little rain we did receive kept large fuel sources (trees) dry while quickly rebuilding the more volatile inventory of ground grasses which have consequently now cured already. Soil moisture typically dampens temperature increases, but because the ground is so dry, ambient temperatures will tend to be warmer this summer. The result is a landscape primed to burn with diminished supplies of water to fight fire.
Learn more at the US Drought Monitor website.