Our fire season in 2020 was one of the worst on record with over 4 million acres burned in California.
While lightning was the cause for a lot of the fire activity in 2020, we have seen a noticeable and persistent change in our weather pattern elevating fire danger.
Take a look at the map below and you can see how high pressure has consistently returned, pushing our storm track and rain to the north and leaving us with dry and windy systems. This type of pattern is what has fueled much of our fire weather and gusty winds.
While La Niña can enhance this weather setup, there’s no doubt we have seen more and more dry high pressure systems keeping our fire danger high for months on end.
So, what could we see with our climate going forward? There are indications we may have shorter rain seasons, which would mean longer fire seasons.