WESTERN UNITED STATES – Before the most recent droughts in California, which lasted officially from 2006 to 2009 and 2011 to 2019, the state’s annual wildfire season used to start in October. However, due to climate change, wildfire season has become less predictable, beginning earlier and often stretching into the autumn months.
Ten years ago, in July 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported:
“Three large fires the last week of July prompted Governor Schwarzenegger to declare a state emergency in California, allowing the allocation of state resources to fight the fires. The Bull fire and West fire occurred in Kern County. Combined both fires burned 17,700 acres (6,961 hectares) and destroyed nearly forty homes and numerous other structures. The Crown fire burned 14,000 acres (5,666 hectares) in Los Angeles County. 2,300 evacuations were ordered as all three fires spread rapidly. By the end of the month the fires were mostly contained, as weather conditions became more favorable for firefighters.”
NOAA added to the 2010 report, “By July 30th, twenty-two large fires were burning across the United States with seven fires in California; three in Nevada; two in Montana, Alaska, and Florida; and one each in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, and New Jersey.”
This, despite above average rainfall during the month. The U.S. Drought Monitor said in July 2010, severe drought conditions had spread from Wyoming to northern Arizona, while Alaska had experienced relief from moderate drought.
“In the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, drought conditions worsened with moderate drought developing in Alabama, the Carolinas, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Severe drought developed along coastal Virginia and Maryland,” the Monitor’s report continued.
Ten years later, 2020 is a year of Biblical proportions by any measure, but especially if your measure is global disasters. In 2020, a “large”