Scattered-sunshine/scattered-overcast this near-noon Wednesday on California’s north coast, counting-down the hours til the end of summer.
And for this particular stretch, I’d call it, a ‘summer of fog,’ or at least, ‘one-half-to-three-quarters summer of fog,’ as the last few weeks have been pretty gray.
Not so with the innards of the state — hot, and due to our fabled drought, way-dry.
Although end of summer/August, next month is usually hottest of the year.
September near-officially starts California’s supposedly three-month span when the forests are primed to be wildfire-fodder.
Yet so far this year — 5,375 wildland fires statewide…
(Illustration: ‘Smolder Sisters‘ by Corinne Geertsen, found here).
And some are yuuge, and not-even in season — Mike Mohler, a battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (NPR): ‘“Well, even though Northern California did have some precipitation this winter, five years of drought, the fuel moistures are no longer there, meaning that there’s no moisture in the actual vegetation. And when we get these fires now, we are seeing what we call now explosive fire growth. And now the explosive fire growth statewide is unfortunately the new normal. We’re seeing fire conditions that are unprecedented. In my 22 years, I haven’t seen fire move like I have this year. I was with a 31-year veteran on the Blue Cut fire. He said the same thing. I’ve never seen it like this.”‘
A peculiar-season — last Sunday up in Calaveras County, a drunk woman driving her 2002 Kia Rio on it’s rims caused a 450-acre wildfire, which threatened several homes, and brought-back bad memories.
Investigators reported, the car was running on its right-rear rim, creating sparks, in-turn igniting grass, and when the car eventually caught fire, flames spread.
Apparently, the ‘explosive fire growth‘ mentioned above took effect, but firefighters were able to get the handle before shit really hit the fan.
Also reminded locals of last year’s way-serious Butte Fire, which happened in about the same area — that fire destroyed 921 structures, while charring nearly 71,000 acres.
Ranch owner John Mondino, and this past weekend’s close call (KCRA): ‘“You’re always nervous. You get memories from the past…Somebody better talk to that lady…That’s all.”‘
And it is…