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Fire Season In U.S. Already One For The Record Books

San Diego County Wildfire Risk Predicted To Be Higher in Late Summer

Above: Members of the media set up in front of smoke from the Wallow fire June 8, 2011 in Springerville, Arizona.

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Aired 6/14/11

The National Interagency Fire Center predicts a normal wild-land fire season for Southern California from July through September.

The National Interagency Fire Center predicts a normal wild-land fire season for Southern California from July through September.

But Mike Mohler with CalFire said fire season is year round in California.

He said rainy weather during the winter and late-spring mean more fuel for wildfires.

"The series of rains has brought several different crops of grass," said Mohler. "The later rains brings another crop of grass that in turn dies and becomes what we call ladder fuel. You've got almost three different grass crops from each rain, then they cure, so it adds to that fuel bed."

Mohler said as warmer weather dries the vegetation fire risk increases.

He said the concern grows during Santa Ana wind conditions that come in late summer and in October and November.

A photographer looks on as smoke rises around the Lee Valley Recreational area in the Apache National Forest on June 12, 2011 in Big Lake, Arizona.
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Above: A photographer looks on as smoke rises around the Lee Valley Recreational area in the Apache National Forest on June 12, 2011 in Big Lake, Arizona.

Mohler said creating defensible space around homes and structures can help reduce property loss.

There are currently large fires burning in nine states, the biggest is the Wallow Fire in Arizona.

The National Interagency Fire Center says more than 4.2 million acres have burned across the U.S. this year, making 2011 already one of the worst wildfire seasons in the last 10 years.

And it's not even officially summer.

Comments

Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | June 17, 2011 at 10:03 a.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Let's be sure to put on public record how much the taxpayer will pay in overtime to the men and women who fight fires. I appreciate what they do, but overtime and pension benefits have got to go! Now is the time to talk about it as our financial strain strangles cities throughout the country.

When we see the numbers I'm sure all will agree they need to go to a flat salary that the taxpayer can afford and switched from pension benefits to 401K-style retirement plans. They shouldn't be getting more than the men and women who fight overseas for our freedom and way of life.

Why? Because service is more than getting a paycheck. Look at what we the taxpayer are dishing out for life to the families of the 911 World Trade Center tragedy. I am sorry for their loss, but should we really be financially liable for the rest of their lives? A man or woman in uniform in Iraq loses their life and their family gets a flat check, No mas! May not seem right, but the answer is the country can't afford it.

So what is the answer?

( | suggest removal )