Wildfire Season Outlook Pt 3

Wildfire Season Outlook Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. If you’re worried about a dangerous wildfire season this summer, don’t. It should be no worse than any other average year with the slightly wetter and cooler conditions we enjoyed heading into our dry summer season.

University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor, Cliff Mass says the wet months of May and June gave us just the kind of soggy start we needed …

MASS … “It’s delaying the drying. So, I mean, we’re starting the wildfire season with normal or even greater than normal moisture. That’s very favorable. And then you add to that the fact that the long-range models are not suggesting a dry pattern.”

But, Mass says that doesn’t mean there will be NO wildfires …

MASS … “And so, at this point, I mean, there’s going to be wildfires. No one’s saying there ain’t going to be any wildfires. I mean, there will be wildfires, but there’s no reason, at this point, to suggest that there’s a greater chance than normal of wildfires or to have a particularly severe wildfire season, just no reason to expect it.”

But, Mass says this should be nothing like 2015’s extreme wildfires …

MASS … “So, this is very favorable. So, the chances are we’re not going to have a bad wildfire season. Chances are it won’t be that smoky or anything, so people can relax about this at least.”

As for the farmers and ranchers, Mass says …

MASS … “There’s no reason to think agriculture’s going to be stressed at all by water. You know, the Yakima system is in spectacular shape. And, so, we should have plenty of water for our agricultural needs. So, I mean, those are all favorable things.”

Mass says current wildfire risk is very low across Washington and there’s no reason to expect that risk to be higher than normal.


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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