In previous years, the most serious wildfires have burned from June to September, but now the season has extended and isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. According to a fire official, the season is far from over.
“For September through December, the entire state shows dryer, more wind events and large fire activity to continue,” Chief Thom Porter, the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said at a news conference.
Chief Porter explained at the conference that the predictive services used by fire officials didn’t show a positive outlook for the next few months.
Threat to Wildlife
As wildfires continue to burn, a new threat to wildlife has emerged. Instead of trimming and clearing trees in the winter like usual, this is happening much earlier this year. The trees being cut down are full of baby animals, which then need to be cared for by animal shelters and treated for wounds and burns.
Gold Country Wildlife Rescue has rescued more than 4,700 animals so far this year, which compares to the 3,700 animals it took in during 2020.
Unusually warm temperatures at five to eight degrees above normal and a historic drought are making life difficult for fire officials in California.
Smoke settled over the KNP Complex fire, which has reduced visibility for fire crews. Fire crews used drones equipped with infrared cameras rather than planes to try to conduct reconnaissance. New evacuation warnings have also now been put in place in Tulare and Fresno County, and there are concerns about air quality there.
Fire crews have carried out back burning operations and lit controlled fires to try to contain the spread of the KNP Complex fire.
Electricity Conservation Requests
Areas of California are under a heat advisory while areas near Las Vegas are under an excessive heat warning. Temperatures could reach more than 100℉. As a result of above-normal temperatures and high energy demand, authorities have asked people to voluntarily reduce electricity consumption to protect grid reliability.
There are more than 8,600 personnel assigned to 10 active large wildfires in California. Fire crews continue to make progress with the Caldor fire, which is now 93% contained with full containment expected by October 16th. The KNP Complex fire is only 11% contained and has burned more than 76,000 acres. The McCash fire, which has burned more than 94,000 acres, is 61% contained while the River Complex fire has burned almost 200,000 acres and is 75% contained.