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Fire Frenzy

July 17, 2021

In 2015 the strongest El Nino ever recorded developed, setting off a frenzy of activity and speculation in the media. El Nino is or was thought to be a highly probable harbinger of severe winter weather for California. Record snow and precipitation was touted by most as a certainty. So what actaully occurred?

It turned out to be the driest winter on record.

The 2021 fire season is following the worst fire season California has ever seen and 2020 is still fresh in the public mind. It's easy to see the same hysterical, fire frenzy today that occurred during the 2015 El Nino event. Many real facts are thrown about validating our emotionally fueled opinions. The result is we assume it will actually happen.

Everyone just needs to relax.

The worst of fire season is just around the corner with August and September on the way. Informed experts can recite what current conditions are and the media can run with those facts and whip everyone into a frenzy. The reality is no one knows what will occur, just like next years winter weather.

Let's take a cursory, unvalidated peek at how the fire season is developing. To reiterate, the worst of fire season has not arrived. The following looks at 2021 fires larger than 500 acres in California, compared to the previous 20 years. Here's what we can surmise so far:

If the current trend continues it looks to be a fairly tame fire year. Let's hope this is the case. Also, only 0.2 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail has been touched by fire, the June 10th Sulfur Fire at trail mile 1512.

Unfortunately, the fire frenzy sells soap and memberships. Hey media, every 10 acre fire is not a fire storm. Hey trail organizations, is every 10 acre fire 30 miles from the trail worthy of space in your social media feed? Geez, relax people.

Fortunately, unlike the weather or media bloodlust, we can influence the fire season. You don't need a campfire even if it's legal. Take an extra moment of thought, "Are my actions a fire danger?" It's that simple!

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