2020 Wildfire Season Outlook
Coronavirus and the West’s wildfire season are on a collision course, with the virus on an upswing in several western states that are starting to see increased fire activity, especially those at heightened fire risk during July.
This year’s wildfire season will present unprecedented challenges for firefighters, emergency managers and the public, particularly when it comes to evacuations. For example, fire-related evacuations can be hasty when compared to a hurricane, whose track forecast is usually known a few days in advance.
There has been particular concern about a so-called second wave of the virus coinciding with autumn fires in California, which have historically been the most disruptive and deadly blazes. However, it has become clearer in recent weeks that the threat for fires and coronavirus to overlap would start earlier.
Already this week, for example, wildfires have prompted evacuations in Arizona and California.