COVID-19 complicates an already dire wildfire season
"None of us have ever had to do this before”: Firefighting teams innovate to avoid disease as they protect people.
In 2019 the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection—known simply as Cal Fire—responded to over 1,500 fires. In 2020, they’ve already seen more than 2,700.
“Right now, whatever amount of moisture is left in the vegetation is drying out rapidly,” says Cal Fire Battalion Chief Amy Head. “Those fuel moisture levels are already low for June, so if we don’t have some sort of summer heavy rain … it will be a big problem.”
And with resignation she acknowledges that heavy rain “probably won’t happen.”
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center forecasts drought conditions for California through at least September, and the National Interagency Fire Center predicts this year’s fire season, lasting from June through September, will see an above average