Wildfire Season Outlook Pt 1

Wildfire Season Outlook Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. On top of everything else we’ve been dealing with in our lives over these past few months, some reports seem to be calling now for a bad wildfire season. But, with all the Spring rains it seemed like we had, it got me to wondering how that could possibly be?

So, I called University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass, who I’ve always trusted to cut out the bull and give me straight answers …

MASS … “In fact, May was much, much wetter than normal. In a number of locations, it was in the top 10 wettest, and we remain locked into this relatively wet and cool pattern for the month of June.”

So, the rest of June looks wet too? …

MASS … “I mean I can see now, a week or two ahead with the best models, and this is going to be a wet period. And so, June is going to come in being probably wetter than normal as well, back to back months that are wetter and cooler than normal. So, that has a huge impact at this point in time.”

And, Mass says the snowpack on April 1st was near normal and that’s the crucial thing they look at …

MASS … “Then we got warmer than normal in parts of April and so it started melting back, but you know, that water was saved. So, for instance, the Yakima reservoir system now is above normal in terms of the water storage there. So, the reservoirs are all in excellent shape.”

Mass says with soil moisture in good shape and precipitation running above normal, things are looking good.

Tune in tomorrow for more.


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us, like always, is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week’s topic Allison is Scale insects. So, what are we talking about?

AW: Scale insects can either be covered by a soft shell or a hard-armored shell. One example is the San Jose scale, commonly found in apple and pear orchards, and when feeding on fruit, can leave a small red spot. Higher populations feeding on twigs and limbs can cause tree decline or death.

BL: So, how do I find San Jose scale?

AW: From now until harvest, look for red spots on fruit. Scales hide in the crevices of the bark, so ensure thorough coverage and include a good horticultural oil.

But that’s not the only red, or mark scales have left. In the early 1500s when Spaniards arrived in Mexico, they saw the cochineal (KAA-CHUH-NEAL) scale being collected from prickly pear cacti and ground into the richest red powder used for dye; coveted by artists and royalty.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for more Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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