‘This is the new normal’: California could still be fighting fires at CHRISTMAS thanks to 16-day drought and unusually warm weather – and the state’s governor says winter blazes are here to stay

Sunday, December 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

Southern California’s wildfires could continue until Christmas or beyond due to a projected lack of rain
This winter has been unusually dry so far, and the Santa Ana winds have carried embers and pushed winds
California Governor Jerry Brown said that ‘this could be something that happens every year’ from now on
Six fires are still active. The largest – the Thomas Fire – is only 15% controlled and has scorched 155,000 acres
It is now the first wintertime megafire in California’s history – but it likely won’t be the last

10 December 2017

Southern California’s firefighters could be battling blazes right into Christmas Day, experts have warned, as the wildfire-stricken state faces at least 16 days without rain.

Ten wildfires continue to roar across the state from Ojai down, with the oldest and largest – Monday’s Thomas Fire – having now consumed at least 155,000 acres of land.

That means it’s officially the first wintertime megafire in California’s history – but it likely won’t be the last, according to Governor Jerry Brown, who has called December wildfires ‘the new normal’.

‘This is the new normal, and this could be something that happens every year or every few years,’ he said in a press conference after seeing the devastation Thomas has caused in Ventura County.

‘We’re about ready to have firefighting at Christmas.’

Brown also said the state needed more resources to be able to fight winter fires.

‘We’re facing a new reality in this state, where fires threatened people’s lives, their properties, their neighborhoods and billions and billions of dollars,’ he said. ‘So we have to have the resources to combat the fires.’

Last winter saw the end of a five-year-long drought for California, but even that extraordinary experience has not prepared residents of its southern half for the powerful wildfires that have been burning for up to six days so far.

Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean told the Daily News that traditional expectations for California fires no longer hold sway.

‘Now, there is no fire season,’ he said. ‘Southern California hasn’t really had weather. Nothing changes as far as topography, but the vegetation does change. There’s a lot of fuel out there right now.’

Some have questioned whether the fires might be linked to climate change, but experts told The Atlantic that the signs aren’t clear.

‘These fires are not immediately emblematic of climate change,’ John Abatzoglou, an associate professor of geography and climate at the University of Idaho, said.

Rather, he said, the problem was the delayed rainfall.

‘Yes, California did have the warmest summer on record. But the big anomaly here is the delay in the onset of precipitation for the southland that has kept the vegetation dry and fire-prone.’

The Rest…HERE

Leave a Reply

Join the revolution in 2018. Revolution Radio is 100% volunteer ran. Any contributions are greatly appreciated. God bless!

Follow us on Twitter