Final yr was a record-setting wildfire season in California, with virtually 10,000 particular person fires and over 4 million acres burned. And final week, employees at Sequoia and Kings Canyon Nationwide Parks had been accounting for the impacts of the 2020 Fort Fireplace, once they noticed an enormous sequoia tree that was nonetheless smoking.
The constantly burning sequoia tree didn’t pose any threats, because it was fairly inland in Board Camp Grove and nowhere close to human constructions or trails.
“The actual fact areas are nonetheless smoldering and smoking from the 2020 Fort Fireplace demonstrates how dry the park is,” says Leif Mathiesen, Sequoia & Kings Canyon Nationwide Parks’ assistant fireplace administration officer. “With the low quantity of snowfall and rain this yr, there could also be further discoveries as spring transitions into summer time.”
Certainly, the central Sierras gathered 59% of its ordinary snowpack in 2020. In distinction, it had 129% of its regular snowpack in 2019. Regardless of this abundance of water, a lightning strike sparked the Fort Fireplace that was then fueled by wind. It will definitely merged with one other fireplace which razed 174,000 acres earlier than it was lastly contained in January 2021.
After unseasonably heat and dry circumstances over the previous few months, Governor Gavin Newsom not too long ago declared a drought emergency in 39 California counties that features the Tulare County Lake Basin the place the Fort Fireplace struck. With half-a-million acre-feet of water misplaced prior to now few weeks – which is sufficient to provide one million California households with sufficient water for one yr – it’s anticipated that California can anticipate one other history-making fireplace season this yr.