The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has released its Fire Potential Outlook for the 2019 fire season and it outlines another year of significant risk for wildfires in Northern California.
The NIFC provides an outline for wildfire risk for the entire United States every year and includes the various factors when determining the risk – past weather, drought and climate outlooks. The agency found that NorCal is once again at above normal risk during the months of June through August. The agency didn’t provide outlooks beyond August.
Although the North State saw historic precipitation during the winter of 2018/19, the prediction is no surprise for anyone who was unlucky to witness the past few fire seasons in NorCal up close. The massive precipitation and low-elevation snow during the winter actually hurt the situation, bringing down trees and brush to the ground to provide more fuels to worry about during the dry months.
Here is the four-month outlook for the entire United States from the NIFC:
Since October of 2017, Northern California has fallen victim to the two most destructive fires in California history (Tubbs Fire, Camp Fire), with one also being the most deadly (Camp Fire).
CalFire estimates that over 15 million acres of land in California is susceptible to wildfire, so these projects are just a start. But with the national media giving attention to the 2018 fires and federal government officials urging California to thin its forests, the projects show a new enthusiasm for fuel reduction.