With more than a million acres burned fairly early in the fire season, California is entering uncharted territory as the record dry conditions that have fueled so much destruction will soon combine with seasonal winds that fire officials fear will bring unprecedented dangers.
Officials have attributed warming temperatures and worsening drought to the explosive growth of fires, mostly in the mountains of Northern California, this summer.
And while the fire-prone state has seen gusty winds this season, many experts fear that the impending arrival of strong Santa Anas and Diablos — which typically move in around mid-September — could mark even more misery for weary residents and beleaguered fire crews.
“We’re coming into the high fire season, and right now we’re on our knees,” said climatologist Bill Patzert. “The weather is the wildcard, and the weather patterns have shifted. Looking ahead here, it’s hard to be optimistic.”
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