California's massive wildfires present unique challenges for firefighters
The threat of additional wildfires remains high due to incredibly dry conditions throughout California
By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety
At any moment, Captain Peter Jensen could be deployed to join thousands of firefighters battling massive wildfires spreading across central and southern California. Currently, the Soberanes fire in central California has burned more than 51,000 acres, destroyed at least 60 homes and remains only 27 percent contained. California fire officials anticipate it could quadruple in size, potentially engulfing 165,000 acres and continue burning through the month of August. The Sand fire, which broke out July 22 near Santa Clarita and burned 41,432 acres, has been mostly contained by firefighters.
The threat of additional wildfires remains high due to incredibly dry conditions throughout California. The state is in the midst of a five-year drought, which has led to an intense and early fire season.
“Our historical fire season is usually September through December, but now we’re seeing wildfires with intense fire behaviors in March and April,” said Jensen, a 27-year veteran firefighter with the Ventura County Fire Department. “So that means in Southern California we’ve established nearly a year-round fire season because plants and trees don’t have time to recover when there’s no rain.”
Full story: California's massive wildfires present unique challenges for firefighters