“Post Fire”: California suffers its largest fire of the year and fears a dangerous summer

The west coast once again ravaged by flames. Since Saturday, California has suffered its biggest fire of the year, raising fears of a dangerous summer, after two very rainy years which have increased vegetation now likely to act as fuel, according to specialists.

The Post Fire broke out in rural Gorman, a little more than an hour’s drive northwest of Los Angeles. It burned more than 5,900 hectares in two days and led to the evacuation of 1,200 people, according to authorities. Monday morning, it was only 8% contained, despite the efforts of 1,150 firefighters, according to the latest bulletin from the authorities.

The fire, which spread very quickly due to powerful winds, mainly consumed large areas of brush and grasslands in this mountainous region. Homes have generally been spared so far.

 

Started in mid-June, this vast fire could be the foretaste of an intense fire season in California. Especially since around fifteen smaller fires broke out across the state over the weekend. “By July, we are likely to have a very active fire season, especially at low altitudes,” warned climatologist Daniel Swain of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) on Monday.

Early heatwaves

The state experienced “two consecutive rainy winters,” which encouraged the “growth” of particularly dense vegetation, he said. By drying out as summer approaches, this “offers more biomass to burn in potential fires.” Cumulatively, the last two years have been the wettest on record in Los Angeles, according to the US Weather Service.

 

The early heat waves this season in the American West are now raising fears of a rapid drying out of vegetation. At the beginning of June, seasonal temperature records were reached in this part of the country. The mercury notably reached 44°C in Las Vegas (Nevada) and 50°C in Death Valley (California), unprecedented levels for the end of spring.

The rest of the United States is also experiencing alarming signals: the center and east of the country are preparing to face a stifling heat wave this week, with abnormally high temperatures for the month of June.

According to scientists, these repeated heat waves are an unequivocal marker of global warming and are expected to multiply, last longer and intensify. Specialists also believe that abnormally high temperatures in the pre-summer period can be a harbinger of a suffocating summer.

By Editor

Leave a Reply