Recent heavy rains could dampen fire season in Central California

As fire season looms, preparations are already underway to battle wildfires from the ground and air.

Friday, March 24, 2023
Recent heavy rains could dampen fire season in Central California
As fire season looms, typically starting in late Spring, preparations are already underway to battle wildfires from the ground and air.

California has had quite the year so far in terms of precipitation, but what does that mean for the upcoming fire season that has plagued parts of Central California these past few years?

The rain has brought impressive rain totals so far, which stands at 148% above average with the snowpack above 223% the average peak, and the rainy season is far from over.

"We see the green on the freeways, we see the green in a lot of the empty lots that are in and around the city of Fresno, however that is only short term," said Christine Wilson, Public Information Officer with Fresno Fire Department.

As fire season looms, typically starting in late Spring, preparations are already underway to battle wildfires from the ground and air.

Every year CAL Fire's air fleet of more than 65 aircraft lands at their base in Sacramento to get serviced and this year is no different in terms of preparations.

But with all the green overgrowth from the recent storms, fire officials say they expect a later start this fire season.

"All that green is going to start turning brown and where you see brown vegetation that then becomes fuel," said Wilson.

Fuel that can ignite fires along freeways and vacant lots, which has been a common occurrence in the past.

"Any driver before they get on the road inspect that vehicle, make sure that there is nothing hanging down off the vehicle, if they're trailering anything," explained Wilson.

There were over 7,000 wildfires in 2022, the largest fire battle last year was the Mosquito fire in northern California.