FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — California experienced the worst wildfire season on record in 2020.
According to CAL FIRE a record breaking 4.2 million acres of land was consumed by wildfires.
The year contained one of the largest wildfires on record for the Golden State which was the August Complex that consumed a record 1 million acres.
Five of the top six largest wildfires in the state's history occurred in 2020.
5 of the largest wildfires in CA history have occurred this year. As we move further into fall we recognize that we still have the potential to experience more large & damaging wildfires so we remain prepared. Make sure you & your family also plan, prepare, & stay aware. pic.twitter.com/blmgo4r52p
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 30, 2020
The wildfire season across the West has been starting earlier and ending later each year.
It is estimated that the fire season has increased by 75 days across the Sierras.
California residents are bracing for more destruction this year.
According to the United States Drought Monitor, conditions are worsening and approximately 93% of California is in drought.
#DroughtMonitor 4/13: Intense drought continues in CA, the Southwest, W./S. TX, the Rockies, and N. Plains.
— NIDIS Drought.gov (@DroughtGov) April 15, 2021
On top of the drought, above-average temperatures are expected for the state per the latest outlook issued by the Climate Prediction Center.
A drought, warmer than average temperatures and wind are the perfect ingredients for a wildfire to get out of control.
Officials are fearing the worst for 2021 after the second consecutive dry winter.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $536 million wildfire package Tuesday.
CA is taking bold, early action to protect our high-risk communities ahead of peak wildfire season.
Today we signed a $536M wildfire package that will go towards fire resilience efforts including fuel breaks, forest health projects, and home hardening across the state. pic.twitter.com/rCINM2VRpT
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) April 13, 2021
According to the release, the package will enable the state to take urgent action on projects that support wildfire suppression and prevention.
The funding will go towards hiring more fire personnel, buying equipment, building defensible spaces and developing vegetation-management projects that will control and slow down fires.
This early action plan is part of the Governors overall proposed $1 billion investment in forest health and community fire resilience.
According to the release, Governor Newsom authorized $80.74 million in emergency funds for 1,399 additional firefighters with CAL FIRE to bolster fuels management and wildfire response efforts in March.
This will allow for training of the crew ahead of peak wildfire season which typically occurs between July and October.