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Conditions that contributed to wildfires in years past return in 2022 | News

Extreme droughts, hot summers and dry forest conditions have reminded residents of their involvement in mitigating the damaging reality of Kern’s “year-round” fires.

Although officials at the Kern County Fire Department do not anticipate when or where the next spark could ignite a devastating fire, they can see where environmental factors have caused the fires in recent years.

The good reason is that this year the surveillance will be particularly high, said Andrew Freeborn, KCFD captain, head of public information for the department. The ingredients he listed have been put together as a recipe for significant forest fire activity: drought deterioration, forest conditions, the growth of people regenerating in high forest areas, and skin beetles that have chewed dried bark to make trees more at risk of fire.

“Even though we can’t predict, there’s nothing we’re going to see that tells us it’s not going to be a repeat of last year,” Freeborn said. He added that the fires were “one of the most devastating and deadly catastrophes” in our state.

Dry conditions

Jerald Meadows, chief meteorologist at Hanford National Weather Service Station, said June and July temperatures will be above average. Most of Kern County is classified as an extreme drought, from the highest level to the highest level, with an extreme drought.

“It’s a pretty big drought around us, with little relief,” Meadows said.

Factors added to grassland, such as vegetation, life or death, humidity, and wind speed are studied to understand the spread of fire. He pointed out that each fire season is different.

Firefighters are pushing for prevention as a key to tackling the deadly season. Freeborn said preventive measures had saved dozens of homes in the Alta Sierra from a French fire.

Risk reduction

In the fall, winter and spring, firefighters are working on projects in Kern County to protect themselves from deadly fires, Freeborn said. These include burns ordered around Kern County and other practices such as cleaning the dead brush, he added.

“The fires are now reaching a point where it’s only a year-round reality here in Kern County,” Freeborn said.

An alleged fire broke out on Highways 223 and 58 on Wednesday in an area prone to fires in the past, the KCFD captain said. Firefighters burned dry grass between the highway and a fuel outage.

“That’s something we’ve been doing for several years,” Freeborn said. “He has been very successful. And we will continue to do so, weather permitting ”.

Local firefighters, the Spatial Planning Office and Red Cross officials have met with residents of local mountain communities to push for preventative measures. These meetings allow residents to get to know firefighters and have a plan in case of an emergency. The last such meeting will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at 5000 Lake Isabella Blvd.

‘Preparation steps’

June 1 is the last day for risk reduction for residents in qualifying areas. They will receive a notification if their home has been ordered to comply with risk reduction regulations.

Piles of wood should be removed from the sides of the houses and dry vegetation should be cleared, Freeborn said. This practice reduces the chance of ignition and can slow down the flames.

Freeborn said that sometimes a small percentage of residents who do not follow the instructions may receive a citation for not seeing the instructions.

“It’s up to each homeowner to take practical steps to prepare,” Freeborn said. “Everyone has to do their part.”

You can contact Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow him on Twitter at @ idesai98.

Conditions that contributed to wildfires in years past return in 2022 | News Source link Conditions that contributed to wildfires in years past return in 2022 | News

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