US: Wildfires in California: Feds warn about upcoming season - - PressFrom - US

USWildfires in California: Feds warn about upcoming season

08:15  14 june  2019
08:15  14 june  2019 Source:

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The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season on record in California , with a total of 8,527 fires burning an area of 1,893,913 acres (766,439 ha)

PARADISE, Calif. —. [ For the latest updates on the California wildfires , read our Tuesday live briefing here]. The inferno that ravaged the wooded town of Paradise in northern California became the deadliest wildfire in the state’s modern history on Monday when officials said they had discovered the

Wildfires in California: Feds warn about upcoming season© CNN california utility company pge investigation wildfires dnt griffin vpx_00004010.jpg

US Forest Service and Interior Department officials warned senators Thursday that the upcoming wildfire season would be worse than last year's, which left dozens of people dead in California, saying that "if we're lucky, this year will simply be a challenging one."

"It's hard to imagine a repeat of this experience, but this is the potential reality that we face again this year," said Jeff Rupert, director of the Office of Wildland Fire for the Interior Department, during his opening remarks at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. "So it's difficult for me to sit here this morning and say that a challenging year is ahead of us because the wildfires that we're now experiencing are consistently more destructive than they've ever been."

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“The Feds responded quickly to the initial request for federal aid last week,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Still, it’s not the first time Trump has threatened California ’s funding. In October, he complained about the federal money going to fighting wildfires in the state — where

Historically, California 's " wildfire season " started in summer and ran into early autumn - but experts have warned that the risk is now year-round. Low humidity, warm winds, and dry ground after a rain-free month have produced a prime fire -spreading environment.

Rupert went on to recount some of harsh statistics from the end of last year's season which ravaged parts of the west. Eighty-five people died from November's Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California's history. The fire virtually burned the town of Paradise to the ground, destroying thousands of homes and structures, and has cost billions of dollars in economic losses.

Rupert and Shawna Legarza, the director of fire aviation and management for the US Forest Service, spoke before the committee about how the federal government and Congress plan to manage potential threats from the upcoming wildfire season.

"We know that our predictive services is showing that it's going to start to increase, that we could have a very significant fire year again," Legarza said during her opening statement. "This year in California and the Pacific Northwest, all those grasses are going to be drying out from the heavy rains and snowpack, and with that will come large fires. So we must continue to be prepared."

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A typical wildfire season in California might begin in mid-summer and run through early autumn. Not this year. Maybe not anymore. The state was already besieged by two major wildfires in the first week of July, and is currently grappling with three intense infernos: the Camp Fire , north of Sacramento

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott gave an updated death toll Wednesday, calling the series of wildfires in wine country “a serious, critical, catastrophic event.” He says 8,000 firefighters are focusing on protecting lives and property as they battle the flames chewing

Both the Interior Department and US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service provide government assistance during wildfire season.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said the upcoming wildfire season will have "elevated wildfire activity," from June through September, according to a National Interagency Fire Center monthly wildland fire potential outlook released in early June.

"Some observers believe the stage is set for fire activity similar to the indescribable damage and staggering loss of life that we saw last year in Northern California," Murkowski said during her opening remarks.

Murkowski noted that there has been an uptick in wildfires across the country in the last week alone. She mentioned wildfires that have already started in her home state, Alaska, as well as parts of Arizona.

The senator cited some reasons for the uptick in wildfires over the past few years, including climate change, unhealthy landscapes that are overstocked with "excess fuels" and disease and insect outbreaks which leave trees behind that are "ready to ignite just like a matchstick," she said.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the ranking member of the committee, said wildfires are "burning longer" and "they are harder to control than just a few years ago."

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Winds to raise fire danger, blowing dust concerns from California to New Mexico.
On the heels of the announcement that this year's wildfire season could be worse than 2018, residents from California to New Mexico will face a heightened fire danger into Saturday. A potent storm set to whiten some of the higher terrain of the Rocky Mountains with snow into the first day of summer will fail to deliver rain to most of California and the desert Southwest. What the storm will lack in terms of rainfall will be replaced by strong, gusty winds. © Provided by Accuweather, Inc SW Thurs June 20 The strongest winds will whip the mountains and deserts of California to Idaho, Utah and Arizona into Thursday evening.

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