Wildfire Potential Pt 2

Wildfire Potential Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Dryer than normal conditions this year have some concerned about this Summer’s wildfire season. After last year’s late-season severe fires, many worry we could be in for more of the same.

But, University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass says we started the year pretty wet, and we have a good snowpack, so that should help …

MASS … “But the surface is going to dry out faster than normal because we haven’t had any rain. It’s not like they get that much rain anyway, but definitely things are dryer than normal at this time of the year. There’s no doubt about that.”

But the big fires, Mass says are more likely in late Summer …

MASS … “I mean you could have something random too that could start a fire. You could have an outflow from a thunderstorm during the Summer or something like that. You know, so it happens to start something and the strong winds come from the, you know, the outflow from a thunderstorm. That could get a localized fire. But to get the catastrophic stuff like last year you’d need it on a much larger scale, and we don’t see that at this point, but you know?”

And, Mass says this is mostly thanks to La Nina …

MASS … “I mean, we’re slowly warming up, okay, and that’s probably part of it is us. So, that’s definitely, we’re slowly, there’s a slow warm up going on. There’s no doubt about that. But you can’t blame this dry Spring on global warming. You can’t do that. There’s no reason to do that.”

Mass says over the past 50 years there’s no trend towards dryer spring conditions and obviously if climate change was causing it there would be.

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